This Map provides a clear overview of most structures, palaces, towers and pavilions within the secretive Beijing Central Sea (Zhong Hai) and Nan Hai (South Lake) (Zhongnanhai) Leadership compound, which is located within the Old Cities'Xicheng District of Beijing.
The Zhongnanhai Garden is famous as having served briefly as the luxury gold lined prison cage for Emperor Guangxu, who spend his time there after his revolt againts the Empress-Dowager Cixi in the year 1900 AD (Guangxu was further imprisonned at the Yiheyuan Summer Palace, after he had to be transferred when allied powers invaded Beijing proper later that year).
In 1949 AD when the Chinese Communist Party took the City of Beijing, the CP leadership first took refuge in the so called 'Fragrant Hills Villa', a part of what is now the (extensive) Fragrant Hills Park in the Western Hills of the Haidian District. This was only to precede the move into Zhongnanhai, which had been chosen as the location of a top secret protected compound for the Highest in Government. One could call it the New Imperial Palace. Mao Zedong and the Leadership moved into Zhongnanhai, after extensive renovations and inclusion of high tech security measures, surveilance devices and even secret tunnels.
The below Map gives an overview of Zhongnanhai as it was during the 1970s, when Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Jiang Qing and a number of other highly placed Chinese politicians (and often their extended families) lived protected by their Squads of especially trained and selected Body Guards.
Included in the map are among things, Mao Zedong's indoor swimming pool, his last residence building 202, the Hall of the Spring Lotus and Zhou Enlai's residence.
More features will be added when additional information comes available.
Introduction to Zhongnanhai CP Leadership Compound Schematic Map 02
This Map is based on the Map provided by Yuan Yu Hsia, and updated with information from the following books: 'Mao Zedong, the unknown Story', by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday ; 'The Private Life of Mao Zedong', by Li Zhisui, Mao's private physician.
According to his Book Mao resided inside the confines of his swimming pool for both utter privacy and personal safety. Still in what is known as the period of the Cultural Revolution, Mao had battled his subordinate party elite and bureaucracy but had not quite won out. Old and frail he was left to fear a counterstrike, or quite possibility an attempt to take his life or otherwise stage a coup d'etat. However, after the Tangshan Earthquake of July 28Th, 1976 AD, which shook Mao's bed in the pool building violently, his sickbed and thus residence was moved into the Building Number 202, which has been especially constructed for Mao with specifications it should be able to withstand bombardment as well as a heavy earthquake. Mao died on September 9, 1976 AD in building 202.
The Chamber of the Spring Lotus today is mostly noted for having been served as the official residence of Madame Mao Zedong, the fourth, Jiang Qing. Jiang Qing originally took up
residence in the Chamber, after the move of the party Leadership from the 'Fragrant Hills Villa'
in the western Hills, to the new official Leadership compound and 'forbidden city' of Zhongnanhai.
After spending initial time at the chamber, Jiang Qing moved out to live in a large Villa at the luxurious guest resort of Diaoyutai, a part of the nearby Beihai Park, spending several years there out of the way from 'Chairman Mao', who had come to detest her presence and rather spend his time alone plotting, reading in bed, or playing with one of his many young mistresses.
Jiang Qing, humiliated, angry, disappointed and paranoid moved back to the Chamber of the Spring Lotus at Zhongnanhai when Mao Zedong suffered his second heart attack in early june of 1976 and she moved back to be nearer the patient. A power-struggle was sure to be triggered by Mao's impending death and everyone vying for power (or their lifes) wanted to be as close as possible, lest someone get the chance to manipulate Mao's last words, deeds or minutes.
Zhou Enlai's residence as Premier of the Peoples Republic could be found in the extreme northwest corner of the Zhongnanhai Compound, where he officially lived in the Hall of the Western Flower.