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Jing Shan Park
This page was last updated on: June 19, 2017
(8) Gates of Shou Huang Dian Hall (Hall of Imperial Longevity)
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Group of People Dancing in Front of a Building, Jingshan Park, Beijing, China
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Location of Shou Huang Hall -
On The Shou Huang Hall which until the end of 2013 contained the Children's Palace of Beijing is found on the north side of the Coal Hill (Jing Shan) inside Jingshan Park. The Jingshan Park (Jingshan Gongyuan) is part of the Dongcheng District of Beijing and sits on the central axis of the Old City, immediately due north of the Forbidden City a.k.a. the Palace Museum.

Within Jingshan Park the Shou Huang Hall is situated on the central axis or the Imperial Road. Find the southern gates to the Shou Huang Hall as part of the Jingshan Park. These gates can be reached via either one of the three access gates of Jingshan Park, these being found in the south, east and west. The south gates of the complex usually remain closed as inside is the realm of the Children's Palace of Beijing, a special school for talented children established in 1954 during the early years of Communist China.
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As for the entrance to the Children's Palace (少年宫), one has to go around and exit Jingshan Park to find its entrance. The northern gate of Jingshan Park is not in use as visitors entrance to Jingshan Park but functions as the main gate of Children's Palace and Shou Huang Hall today. To get there, walk around Jingshan Park to Jingshan back street where its large ceremonial gate can clearly be recognized. Security is on hand to keep snoopers out.

Children's Palace at Shou Huang Hall -
The Shou Huang Hall is the home of the so called Bejing Children's Palace.
Since its establishment in the year 1954 AD, the Beijing Children's Palace is a reserved place where musically talented children starting from the age of 4 are given the opportunity to follow special lessons. As such, it is a living relic of the first hopeful years of the Revolution, especially the period of Sini-Soviet entente, when a better future seemed to come into grasp if only the work was done.

The special school is still active today. The children go to school at Shou Huang Hall but also are taught additional lessons on the weekends. Lessons include various skills
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History of Shou Huang Hall and the Childrens Palace -
Shou Huang Hall or the Hall of Imperial Longevity was built at some time in the middle of the Ming Dynasty Period (1368 AD - 1644 AD). Previous to its function as Children's Palace it was in use as a Ceremonial Hall where the Emperor would come to perform rites only once a year, on the day of the Lunar New Year.
The rites involved were intended to honor the dead Emperors of the past, in other words all the Men who had held the Mandate of Heaven ever since the appearance of the legendary Yellow Emperor right up to his very own ancestors. Offerings were made before the image of each.
Thus, of great ceremonial importance it was designed and built accordingly resulting in the large scale of things still visible today.

Various sources note that the Palace of Imperial Longevity underwent a large renovation in the 1749 AD, the 14th year of the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, when the emperor had the large Palace Hall within the
Overview of the square in front of the southern gates of the Hall of Imperial Longevity (Shou Huang Dian) with ceremonial pailou gates flanking the square whereas the southern gate of the complex have three doors, the middle one as usual exclusively  for the use of the Emperor.
such as playing of the violin, piano, or another musical instrument, song and dance, ballet. There is also a branch of the school involved with the creative arts of caligraphy, drawing and the making paintings. In addition sports en various technical skills are taught.
Amusing mythical bixi animals lying down adjacent the central pathway leading out of the southern gates of the Hall of Imperial Longevity.
complex expanded from three columns to nine columns wide.

To the south of the complex lies a large courtyard surrounded by a forested space which is part of the Jingshan Gongyuan. Here one can see an unusual congregation of no less than three (originally wooden) pailou ceremonial gates which enclose the courtyard. The south side of the court is lined with four pairs of ceremonial stone animals lying down and facing eachother.
On the opposite side of the court is a unusually tall red chalked wall in the center of which are three doors. Altogether of a familiar design the site is of unsual composition and unique in the world.

Beyond the three closed doors making up the south gate, inside the complex of this Palace of Imperial Longevity is the space where in the far past of the feudal Emperors the dead rulers would be placed to lay in state, after their death but during ceremony and treatements applied before their later transportation to the Ming Tombs Valley (Shisanling) for final burial.
The Hall where the dead Emperors lay in state is situated north east of the enclosure of the south gate. Another part of the palace complex is the smaller Hall of Observing Virtue, which served as the library of the Children’s Palace until the end of the year 2013.

As the Children's Palace was in use by rather an elite party established school not too many people have held the privilege to browse about inside unhindered, leet alone take pictures. Until recently, the buildings of the Palace of Imperial Longevity could generally only be viewed from atop the ridge of the Coal Hill (Jingshan) where one can look down and within.
Inside are several pavilions, all of which have yellow glazed ceramic tiles signifying their Imperial Status. Also in accordance wit this the pavilions are placed upon their own white marble terraces and lined with white marble balustrades.
Although still off limits to the public visiting Jingshan Park today due to the reconstruction activities, the situation is set to change. After renovation the palace complex will become an
The School was established in the year 1954 AD, during the blooming period of Sino-Soviet Friendship. In line with the great expectations of the time a second such Children's Palace was established in Shanghai. As is still much celebrated at the Hall, China's popular Prime Minister Zhou Enlai visited the school in the year 1957 AD. It is noted that the school proper is run by the Communist Youth League, making it an elite school for children of loyal Communist Party Cadres.

Today, the school is fairly large until very recently it made use of various structures in the park, including Shou Huang Hall. Every year some 5000 children are said to take part in the 50 special training groups of the school.  Depending on the subject at hand, children are split into sub groups of which some 280 exist at the school. Training takes place in groups of 3 to 35 children.

On 27 December 2013, the Beijing Children’s Palace 北京市少年宫 departed the Hall of Sovereign Longevity (Shouhuang dian 寿皇殿) and the Hall of Observing Virtue (Guande dian 观德殿), sites within Jingshan Park it had occupied since 1956, for newer digs on West Zuo’anmen Street in southern
The three closed doors of the south gate of the Palace of Imperial Longevity, shrine to the Emperors of the Past.
Images of the western and southern pailou inside the court in front of the south gate of Shou Huang Dian, a usually quiet and serene spot within Jingshan Park.
Dongcheng District. According to China Daily the Hall of Imperial Longevity is now slated to be renovated and restored to the way it looked in the 14th year of Qianlong (1749), when the emperor had the large Palace Hall within the complex, the Hall of Imperial Longevity expanded from three columns to nine columns wide.

The China Daily article notes that; Unfortunately, according to Song Kai 宋愷 of Jingshan Park’s Construction Department, the building is in poor condition and had its overall layout significantly altered during its time as a children’s art center. By contrast, the smaller Hall of Observing Virtue, which served as the library of the Children’s Palace, is in comparatively good condition.
The gargantuan red chalked wall in which sits the south gate of Shou Huang Dian flanked and guarded by two large Bronze Lions.
A pavilion built in the 1950s as part of the school and named after revolutionary heroine Liu Hulan 刘胡兰 will be retained, ‘whether or not it will still be called Liu Hulan Pavilion requires further study.’
additional images of the south gate of Shou Huang Dian and area.
open part of Jingshan Park and the public will finally able to enjoy and appreciate its beauties in full.
1) Directions to Jingshan, Introduction & South Entrance
2) Entering the Park - Qiwang Pavilion
3) Jingshan East Flank
4) Jingshan Top - Wanchun Look out Pavilion
5) Jingshan West Flank
6) Chongzhen Emperor Hanging Tree
7) Park Gardens
8) Palace of Imperial Longevity (Shou Huang Dian)
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