Location North 39° 59' 34.01" East 116° 14' 24.00" (39.99278, 116.24000)
The Yuquanshan - Jade Spring Mountain is located in the north-west of the Haidian District of Beijing City being situated directly due west of the Summer Palace Park and its main lake, the Kunming Lake. It can as such be seen as a mountain with temples riding atop from there.
Nearby places of interest for tourists are the Summer Palace to the east of Jade Spring Mountain and the Beijing Botanical Gardens and the Fragrant Hills Park with its various attractions to the West of the Jade Spring Mountain.
Jade Spring Mountain
This page was last updated on: June 12, 2017
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Jade Spring Mountain - Directions / How to Get There :
The Jade Mountain lies approximately 2.5 kilometers west of Longevity Hill (Wanshoushan) the main hill of the Summer Palace Park. The best mode of transportation available to make ones way to the Summer Palace is to make use of the subway metro system. To get to Jade Spring Mountain, which lies beyond, one has to travel beyond the usual west gate of the Summer Palace (Xiyuan) to reach the Northern Gate of Summer Palace and its nearby Beigongmen subway station. The further journey to Jade Spring Mountain then is on foot.
From Beigongmen Station exit and entrance, head on westward by following Qinglongqiao East Street up the hill. Follow this road until it has crossed the water of the Jingmi Diversion channel (which funnels water to the Kunming Lake of the Summer Palace). Having crossed the water and the bridge, then turn left and south/westward into Yuauqanshan Road. Yuquanshan Road, as its name suggests, eventually leads down to the Jade Spring Mountain. It is a hike of about 1.5 kilometers.
The north gate of the Summer Palace subway station (Beigongmen) is not only the starting point of a trip to Jade Spring Mountain, but also serves as the jumping off point for many who want to travel even further westward to the Beijing Botanical Gardens and the Fragrant Hills park. As such, it can become crowded, especially on the weekends. To travel further west, catch a bus or motorized rickshaw to carry you the substantial distance to the western hills.
History of Jade Spring Mountain :
Not much of the history of Yuquanshan, recent or older is available publically. What is known however is that the Yuquanshan historically is a famous Beijing scenic spot.
Various internet sources explain in brief that around the year 1200 AD, when Beijing first become a Capital City during the rule of the Jin Dynasty, the Hall of Lotuses (Furongdian) was the first ever pavilion to be built on top of the Jade Spring Mountain. This Hall of Lotusses was originally intended to serve as a traveling lodge for the Jin Dynasty emperors. After the fall of the Jin, when Beijing functioned as Capital of the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty (1271 AD - 1368 AD) and subsequently the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD), two other structures were also built on the Jade Spring Mountain. These were the Temple of Clarity and Conversion (Zhaohuasi) and the Huayan Temple both of which were built with a similar purpose of served emperors and empresses and their attire as a place of recreation. Later additions to the mountain recreational park, were added during the Qing Dynasty Era (1644 AD - 1911 AD). The Pure Heart Garden (Chengxinyuan) was established in 1680 during the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1661 AD - 1722 AD) an absolute highpoint of the Dynasty and Culture. Only 12 years later, in 1692 it became the Garden of Light and
Although the Jade Spring Mountain with its distinct Pagodas and lofty mountain top views certainly has all the potential to be a major tourist landmark in Beijing, it is not. On the contrary, the entire mountain has been designated a special military administrative zone and as such the entire mountain and surrounding greenery is under heavy guard by both Police and the Military. It is said that the primary hardened underground command facility used by the Central Military Commission in control of China's military and nuclear arms is located under Yuquan Shan Mountain in the Western Hills outside Beijing.
Tranquility (Jingmingyuan), a name that accurately describes its elegant setting and peaceful surroundings.
Jade Spring Mountain Today:
Today the Jade Spring Mountain imperial retreat and park area have been claimed by the highest strata of the leading Communist Party and its State apparatus. Apart from being officially designated as a military administrative area and the supposed headquarters of the Nuclear and Atomic Strike Forces of the Peoples Republic of China it also serves as a scenic but also somewhat frightening and secretive State Retreat. Although infrequently, State officials such as representatives of the neighboring Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) are hosted here by the powerful inner circles of the Communist Party. While above, peace and tranquillity seem to reign among the greenery along the hillside, the threat of utter darkness lurks beneath. That is, hidden underneat the seemingly tranquil setting of the mountain and supposed garden of light lies a dark and hidden world of deep bunkers built to survive a direct nuclear attack on the Chinese Capital.
The heavily guarded Jade Spring Mountain, including its Temples and scenic gardens is in effect a walled compound all of which is considered military territory. All walls are rigged with remote viewing cameras and the few sparse gates available are richly adorned yet clearly heavily guarded by armed members of the Military at all times, 24 hours a day. The gates mostly remain closed to keep out anyones peeking eyes or camera's. In addition to the military security of the mountain park itself, there are plenty of police patrols active in the larger zone surrounding the mountain park proper.
Specifically the villages sided along the north/eastern rim of the Jade Spring Mountain park, known as Sihuaiju and Huaishuju, have been taken over by members of the high value ruling Communist Party elite. Only seperated from Jade Spring Mountain Park by a narrow space and Huaishuju road, these villages now are walled compounds of themselves and as high value targets are frequently patrolled and observed by Police.
To the East and South East of the Jade Spring Mountain lies Beijing Yiquan Golf Course, an elite member club which geographically functions as a buffer space between the flocks of people who visit the Yiheyuan Summer Palace on a daily basis and the high security zone of the Jade Spring Mountain. A similar large area to the south west of the mountain is taken up by the grounds of the luxurious Xiwa Leisure Club.
Police cars loiter along the south end of Huaishuju Road as well as on the south side of Jade Spring Mountain near the crossing of Yuquanshan Road and Beiwucun Road.
Suggestions for dwelling in the area of Jade Spring Mountain (Yuquan Shan):
Nearby Landmarks of interest are the Yiheyuan Summer Palace, Miaoyun Temple on the western stretch of Yuquanshan Road near Xiangquan Highway Bridge and the Li Dazhao Martyrs Cemetery at Hanhe Road south west of Yuquanshan.
A famous photo of the top Pagoda of the Temple of Great Clarity which stands atop the Jade Spring Mountain was taken during the Kangxi Reign of the Qing Dynasty. It was taken in 1874 AD by a member of a Russian exploration and commercial mission Led by Lieutenant Colonel Iulian A. Sosnovskii of the army General Staff.
This very important Russian mission proceeded from Saint Petersburg to Shanghai and traveled via Ulan Bator (the current Capital of the Republic of Mongolia), Beijing, and Tianjin, and then followed a route along the Yangtze River, along the Great Silk Road through the Hami oasis, to Lake Zaysan, back to Russia. On what was truly an epic journey, the team Photographer Boiarskii took only some 200 photographs, still a feat with the technology then available, which together in collection now constitute a unique resource for the study of China in this period. The original photographs of this collection, now known as the Thereza Christina Maria Collection, can be found in the National Library of Brazil.
In Beijing the expedition made 1 photograph showing the so called Glazed Tile Pagoda, only a minor monument of at the Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) and the second on at Yuquan Shan. This second photo depicts only the 9 story stupa style Pagoda which still stands on the Jade Spring Mountain today and can be seen from the shores of the Kunming Lake of the adjacent Summer Palace on any clear day.
The Jade Spring Mountain is famous for the clear, sweet waters of its spring, which were well known in ancient times. As designated by the Emperor during the Qing Dynasty, the spring was the source of drinking water for the Imperial Palace. On the mountainside, a stone dragon's head has been placed over the source of the spring. The spring water foams out from the dragon's mouth with such force that it is also called the "Snow-Spurting Spring." In addition, the crystalline water which reflects the myriad colors around it has earned it yet another name, the Jade Spring Rainbow, and as such the spring was listed among the Eight Great Sights of Yanjing (the name of the Old Beijing which served as the Capital of Jin Dynasty). On top of the cliff there is a stone tablet inscribed: "The Foremost Spring Under Heaven" on its front side, and on its back "Baotu Spring in Jade Spring Mountain" in both Han (Chinese) and Manchu languages. Both inscriptions are in the handwriting of Emperor Qianlong.
The Qianlong Emperor was an especially prolific builder of Temples, Steles and Imperial Pleasure Parks.
Thus, at the Qing Dynasty progressed the Jade Spring Mountain became the site of numerous unique architectural structures. What is known of the imperial pleasure park as it swas in its heydays, the largest of the Halls was called by the fanciful name, the "Grand Duke Who Stands Aloof" (Kuoran Dagong). In the middle of the lake to the north of this hall was a pavilion known as "Clear Reflections of Lotus" (Furong Qianzhao) and to the west stood the Dragon King Temple (Longwangmiao).
Although having been destroyed, the names of these Pavilions and Halls are preserved in local Beijing history, in which the glory of the past is invoked in the words "From the Hall of Benevolence to the Cool Shade Under the Blue Clouds there were 16 scenic spots in the Garden of Light and Tranquility. The hall on the mountaintop often disappears in the mist and clouds. Lotuses hide the world beneath the water. The four hundred temples of earlier times were all given their names on fine autumn days."
From these but brief descriptions, the scenic magnificence of the area can already be imagined well. However, it must be noted that today there are far fewer structures standing along the sides of the Jade Spring Mountain. Having found its glory during the highpoint of the Qing Dynasty Era, the Jade Spring Mountain equally met with disaster when the once powerful Empire failed. In 1900 AD, following what has become known as the 恠 Boxer Rebellion恠, the Jade Spring Mountain fell victim to a punitive action ordered by the military commander of the British Invading Force. While the Yuanmingyuan (Old) Summer Palace went completely up in flames burning for several days, the Jade Spring Mountain was attacked, partially burned and plundered by the Anglo-French Allied Armies, soldiers of the Eight-Power Allied Force followed by other opportunists.
As a result, several of the original structures were lost, and most historical treasures and relics were taken, stolen and looted, then often traveling outside of China thereafter. Only a few of these have since been recovered and now have been returned to the Jade Spring Mountain.
On the peak of the mountain, the Pagoda of Supreme Height (Miaogaota) stands on the Platform of Supreme Height (Miaogaotai). The pagoda is 33 meters high and ahs nine stories. A spiral staircase inside leads to the top floor, which holds a large statue of the Buddha cast in bronze.