Cao Xueqin Memorial Hall

On July 18, 2011, in Ancient Houses & Courtyards, Beijing, More Places of Interest, by Jack Li

Cao Xueqin Memorial Hall was built in 1984. It consists of a row of bungalows facing south, built during the rule of the Qing dynasty. It covers an area of 3000 square meters, with ​​300 square meters’ constructive area. The memorial hall houses the main collection of artifacts associated with the life of Cao Xueqin, […]

Cao Xueqin Memorial Hall was built in 1984. It consists of a row of bungalows facing south, built during the rule of the Qing dynasty. It covers an area of 3000 square meters, with ​​300 square meters’ constructive area. The memorial hall houses the main collection of artifacts associated with the life of Cao Xueqin, providing a proof for the relation between Cao Xueqin’s family and Bordered White Banner. It also contains the imitation of objects of the classic “Dream of Red Mansions”. The Memorial Hall Museum is divided into five exhibition rooms displaying Cao’s residence at different stages in his life: Cao’s studies, his inspiration given by the beautiful scenery of Fragrance Hill, people’s discovery about Cao’s lot and information related to the former residence. Besides, there are is a display documenting the relation of Cao’s family with the Fragrance Hill. This Memorial Hall used to be a small village museum based on Cao’s old house in the Fragrance Hill. As poems were found on the west wall of the old house and one of them is said to be written by E bi, many scholars recognize the building as a place of Cao’s residence.

Beijing Botanical Garden

Wofo Temple

On July 18, 2011, in Beijing, More Places of Interest, Temples, by Jack Li

Wofo Temple, or Temple of the Sleeping Buddha, gained its name for the huge Sakyamuni bronze statue in the temple. The body of the Buddha is 5.2 meters long and was completed by seven thousand workers with 25 thousand kilograms of bronze. The Buddha is lying on a couch, head to the west, facing south. […]

Wofo Temple, or Temple of the Sleeping Buddha, gained its name for the huge Sakyamuni bronze statue in the temple. The body of the Buddha is 5.2 meters long and was completed by seven thousand workers with 25 thousand kilograms of bronze. The Buddha is lying on a couch, head to the west, facing south. His left hand is laid on the leg while the right hand bends to support his head. It is said to be the monument of Sakyamuni.

The twelve smaller Buddha statues standing beside are his disciples. With serious and sorrowful faces, they seem to be listening to Sakyamuni’s last words. A decorative plaque in the middle of the wall is inscribed with the characters “De da zi ran”, which mean that one is totally free when he understood the true meaning of life. Another inscription, on a plaque hanging above the door of the temple, saying “Xing ming heng yue”, explains that the nature of the Buddha is just like the bright eternal moonlight.

The Wofo Temple was built in the West Hills of Beijing, in the area of Shou’an Hill (also called Wuhua Hill). The temple was constructed in accordance with the terrain. Standing in front of the temple, you will find yourself surrounded by the hills on three sides, which is a display of the particularity in the site selection. The construction of Wofo Temple began in times of Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and was previously called Doulv Temple. Its name was changed later on, along with the renovations in the successive dynasties.

Beijing Botanical Garden

Exhibition Greenhouse

On July 14, 2011, in Beijing, Modern Architecture, More Places of Interest, by Jack Li

Beijing Botanical Garden Exhibition Greenhouse is one of the key projects for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the foundation of China. It is located in the west of Beijing Botanical Garden’s axis road.its total area is 5.5 hectares and architectural area is 17,000 .Around 260 million Yuan were invested in the greenhouse. Exhibition Greenhouse was […]

Beijing Botanical Garden Exhibition Greenhouse is one of the key projects for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the foundation of China. It is located in the west of Beijing Botanical Garden’s axis road.its total area is 5.5 hectares and architectural area is 17,000 .Around 260 million Yuan were invested in the greenhouse. Exhibition Greenhouse was designed by the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design.  The theme could be described as ‘bringing back green leaf’s memory to the root”. The main feature of the Greenhouse is an imaginative tilt glass ceiling, resembling a leaf falling by the foot of the West Mountain. Beijing Ancient Landscape Design Institute is in charge of designing the exhibition of plants. The greenhouse is divided into four parts: tropical rain forest, desert flora, seasonal gardens and special plants showroom. 3100 species of more than 60000 plants are a high-grade attractions to the visitors, providing them not only with a colorful plant landscape, but also with scientific knowledge.

 Beijing Botanical Garden

Beijing Botanical Garden

On July 14, 2011, in Beijing, Other Places of Interest, Parks & Gardens, by Jack Li

Beijing Botanical Garden is located between the Xiangtan Park in Haidian district and the Jade Spring Mountain (near the Wofo Temple), it was built under the approval of the State Council in 1956.  It is an extensive botanical garden, popularizing knowledge about plants among its visitors. As well as exhibiting species of plants long know […]

Beijing Botanical Garden is located between the Xiangtan Park in Haidian district and the Jade Spring Mountain (near the Wofo Temple), it was built under the approval of the State Council in 1956.  It is an extensive botanical garden, popularizing knowledge about plants among its visitors. As well as exhibiting species of plants long know to men, it is a place of conservation of new types of plants and plant seeds (so called germplasm). Currently, the planning area is 400 hectares, with 200ha completed and opened to the public. There are more than 10,000 species of plants (including their varieties).  At present, it is the largest botanical garden in northern China specializing in introducing new types of plants and promoting theoretical and practical knowledge about them through research. The exhibition greenhouse is the center of the whole garden.  It has 13 rooms, in which 1500 kinds of tropical and subtropical plants are planted, including stone flower, bachelor trees, oncidium and other rare plants.  Beijing Botanical Garden is a cultural landscape, consisting mainly of plants exhibition area, historical sites, nature reserves and research zone. The plants exhibition includes ornamental plants area (Special Class Park), arboretum, bonsai garden and greenhouse flower district. Ornamental plants area is divided into 11 special class gardens, such as peony garden, china rose, flowering peach garden, clove garden and so on.  Arboretum area consists of the ginkgo area, rose area, Berberis area linden and willow areas, Paulownia ash zone, as well as the magnolia and sycamore zones. The nature reserves and research zone includes Wofo Temple, cherry gully, the ruins of Long Taught Temple, “One Two Nine” pavilion, Liang tomb, Yellow Leaves Village and Cao Xueqin Memorial Hall.  The Wofo temple was built in Tang dynasty and is now under the national cultural protection. The bronze Buddha of Yuan dynasty is protected and exhibited there. The leafy cherry gully is to become a nature reserve. Cao Xueqin Memorial Hall exhibits Cao’s life history and the scene of the creation of “Dream of the Red Chamber”.

Beijing Botanical Garden Attractions

Exhibition Greenhouse

Wofo Temple

Cao Xueqin Memorial Hall

Carefree Garden

Carefree Garden is a delightful hidden spot standing on the east end of Beihai’s coastline. It was originally the site of Ninghe Temple in the Ming Dynasty and rebuilt into a garden in 1757 during Qianlong’s reign. In the summertime, magnificent trees provide visitors with a refreshing lushness and shade. The water of Beihai trickles […]

Carefree Garden is a delightful hidden spot standing on the east end of Beihai’s coastline. It was originally the site of Ninghe Temple in the Ming Dynasty and rebuilt into a garden in 1757 during Qianlong’s reign. In the summertime, magnificent trees provide visitors with a refreshing lushness and shade. The water of Beihai trickles in through Huafang Chamber. In the garden, zigzagging bridges, small ponds, delicate rockeries, and winding corridors all contribute to the Garden’s peaceful atmosphere. A stone bridge with inscribed railings arches over the water. On the east side of the bridge is a stone memorial archway, with a poetic couplet on each pillar. Another bridge over the pond behind the archway leads to Haopu Chamber, covering 77m2 and facing south. 16 pillars encircle the chamber and eight stand inside. The poetic couplets on the front door praise the unique scenery of the garden: “Shady bamboo in the morning mist, murmuring streams winding through the woods”. This garden’s unique natural landscape and beautiful architecture make it a must-see attraction for visitors to Beihai Park.

Beihai Park (Beihaigongyuan )

Beihai White Pagoda

On July 14, 2011, in Beijing, Towers, Pagodas & Grottoes, by Jack Li

Towering at the heart of Jade Islet with pavilions and temples at its base and surrounded by trees and flowers, Beihai White Pagoda has long been considered the symbol of Beihai Park. The tip of the pagoda is the highest point and center of the entire park, suggesting the emperor’s god-given supreme power. The pagoda’s […]

Towering at the heart of Jade Islet with pavilions and temples at its base and surrounded by trees and flowers, Beihai White Pagoda has long been considered the symbol of Beihai Park. The tip of the pagoda is the highest point and center of the entire park, suggesting the emperor’s god-given supreme power. The pagoda’s white marble, inlayed with golden and crimson ornamentation, radiates a sense of heavenly peace and tranquility.

Beihai Park(Beihai GongYuan)

Five-Dragon Pavilions

On July 13, 2011, in Beijing, China Attractions, Historical Relics, by Jack Li

Built in 1602 and renovated several times during Qing dynasty, the Five-Dragon Pavilions are located in the west end of Beihai Park. Taisu Palace was located here under Ming Dynasty rule, only to be torn down in 1651 and later replaced by the Five-Dragon Pavilions. In the past, Longze Pavilion was a special place for […]

Built in 1602 and renovated several times during Qing dynasty, the Five-Dragon Pavilions are located in the west end of Beihai Park. Taisu Palace was located here under Ming Dynasty rule, only to be torn down in 1651 and later replaced by the Five-Dragon Pavilions. In the past, Longze Pavilion was a special place for emperors and their concubines to fish, admire the glorious full moon, and enjoy beautiful fireworks, accompanied by civil and military officials sitting in the other four pavilions.

The five square-shaped pavilions are built out over the water with white-marble-railed bridges connecting them in the shape of the letter “S.” The name “Five-Dragon Pavilions” stems from the resemblance of the shape of the bridge to a giant dragon. The pavilion in the middle, known as Longze Pavilion, is the largest with multiple eaves. Moving away from the center pavilion, the two on the left are called Chengxiang Pavilion and Zixiang Pavilion. Chengxiang has multiple eaves while Zixiang is built with single eaves. The two on the right are called Songrui Pavilion and Fucui Pavilion, mirroring the architectural style of the two pavilions on the left. The five pavilions are jointly known as the Five-Dragon Pavilions, each with a plaque right under the eaves. With green glazed tile roofs, yellow glazed tile eaves, and colored paintings on the beams, these pavilions are vibrant and splendid. Single-arch stone bridges on the right of Longze, Zixiang and Fucui Pavilions will lead visitors to the north shore of Beihai Park.

Beihai Park (Beihaigongyuan )

Beihai Park (Beihaigongyuan )

On July 13, 2011, in Beijing, More Places of Interest, Parks & Gardens, by Jack Li

Beihai Park is located in inner Beijing, west of Jingshan Mountain and northwest of the Palace Museum. The park covers 71 hectares with water area of 583 mu (38.8 hectares) and land area of 480 mu (32.2 hectares). It was the Outer Palace in the Liao, Jin and Yuan Dynasties then served as the imperial […]

Beihai Park is located in inner Beijing, west of Jingshan Mountain and northwest of the Palace Museum. The park covers 71 hectares with water area of 583 mu (38.8 hectares) and land area of 480 mu (32.2 hectares). It was the Outer Palace in the Liao, Jin and Yuan Dynasties then served as the imperial garden later in the Qing Dynasty. Beihai Park reopened in 1925 and is one of the oldest and the best preserved existing imperial gardens with many traditional Chinese characteristics. It is a 4-A tourist attraction and a member of China’s Important Heritage Sites under state protection. The layout of the park draws inspiration from a classical Chinese legend in which “a pond and three islands of blessing” (known as Taiye Pond and Penglai, Fangzhang and Yingzhou Islands) were home to an immortal god, giving the whole park an air of mystery and fantasy. The park contains a 67m high Tibetan white pagoda and a stone tablet inscribed Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty praising the pleasant spring on the Jade Islet (Qiong Dao Chun Yin). The east coast of Beihai (the North Sea) is lined with several buildings, the Huafang and Jingqing Chambers, the Five-Dragon Pavilions, and Tianwang Temple, as well as the Nine Dragon Wall, suggesting park used to be a royal garden. Finally, on the south coast of Beihai, covered by shady evergreen pines and cypresses, stands the Round City.

Beihai Park Attrations

Jade Islet

Five-Dagan Pavilions

Beihai White Pagota

Jingxin Chamber

Carefree Garden

Beihai Park Story

1.    The Nine Dragon Wall

China has three Nine Dragon Walls: the oldest one in Datong, Shanxi built in the Ming Dynasty; the newest one in the Palace Museum built in the late Qing dynasty; and the most special one here in Beihai Park which has a history over 200 years in length. It was built with colored glazed bricks to the dimensions of 25.86m x 6.65m x 1.42m. Wall ornamentation is exuberant and extravagant with each side inscribed with nine dragons in different colors, appearing to chase after pearls in the clouds. The dragons are depicted in vivid color, suggesting the supreme power of the emperor and the country. The wall also serves as the screen wall of the Dayuanjingzhi Temple, which is said to counteract fire disasters and exorcise evil spirits.

2The Legend of Beihai Park’s Construction  

The building of Beihai Park is inspired by an ancient legend. It is said that there were three islands of blessing far away in the East Sea — Penglai, Yingzhou and Fangzhang — where lived an immortal god. Many emperors searched for an Elixir of Life on the islands, but with all the searches ending in vain, they demanded a pond be dug in the north of Beijing, naming it Taiye Pond to express their craving for immorality. Beihai Park took the exact same pattern with Beihai as Taiye Pond, Jade Islet as Penglai Island, and Round City and Xilitai Island as Yingzhou and Fangzhang Islands, respectively.

Mount Baihua

On July 13, 2011, in Beijing, Mountain Areas, Nature Scenery, by Jack Li

The hills of Mount Baihua are one above the other .The top one is in Triangle Tower and Bai Cao Pan and the altitude is 1800-2000 meters. The top of Mount Baihua is wide and smooth, reserving ancient “stone sea”, periglacial castle and icy rock pillar, which were formed in an extremely cold climate thousands […]

The hills of Mount Baihua are one above the other .The top one is in Triangle Tower and Bai Cao Pan and the altitude is 1800-2000 meters. The top of Mount Baihua is wide and smooth, reserving ancient “stone sea”, periglacial castle and icy rock pillar, which were formed in an extremely cold climate thousands years ago. The second platform of Mount Baihua is in Zhongzu and Da mu chang, with an altitude of about 1400-1600 meters. The altitude of the third platform is 1100-1200 meters. All terraces are covered by a layer of thick loess a fine grained yellow deposit of soil left by the wind .The annual average temperature of Mount Baihua is 6.3℃ and the annual precipitation is 595 millimeters.

The massif of Mount Baihua was formed by volcanic eruptions and erosion. Mount Baihua is tall and steep with the altitude of the main peak being 1991 meters. The peak of Bai cao pan is almost 2050 meters, ranking the third highest in Beijing. The geological environment of Mount Baihua is quite unique, creating very beautiful scenery. Mount Baihua is divided into four scenic spots: the main peak, Baihua meadow, Watch Sea Tower and Bai Cao Pan. These scenic spots are surrounded by mountains and have a pleasant climate. Continuous mounts, purling brook, clouds, frogs, forests, exotic flowers and rare herbs, rare birds and beasts all contribute to the amazing scenery. There are 18 unique sights including: “Bai Cao Pan”, “Mount Baihua Waterfalls”, “Eternity Pinkey”, “Old Trees”, “Cloud Top Sunrise”, “Icy Rock Pillars”, Periglacial Castle”, “Sea of Clouds Ascension”, “Sunset Glows”, “Tachromic Jet Belt”, “Goldentoad do obeisance the month”, “Ant Mountain”, “White boa howl”, “Pine Long Corridor”, just to name a few.

Mount Baihua Travel Tips

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White Pagoda Temple

On July 12, 2011, in Beijing, More Places of Interest, Temples, by Jack Li

White Pagoda Temple is a large Buddhist pagoda famous all over the world. It is the the oldest and the largest Tibetan tower in China at present. The temple is located near Beijing Fuchengmen Street. It is one of the most important buildings left as a Yuan dynasty legacy. It is associated with the monographic […]

White Pagoda Temple is a large Buddhist pagoda famous all over the world. It is the the oldest and the largest Tibetan tower in China at present. The temple is located near Beijing Fuchengmen Street. It is one of the most important buildings left as a Yuan dynasty legacy. It is associated with the monographic museum of ancient site of social science.  The museum opened officially in 1980.

It is said that Emperor Qianlong ordered the soldiers to store Buddhist treasures in the tower. It is a one-of-a-kind site, encountered only in China. The White Pagoda was built in 1217. It was designed by a Nepalese artist called Anical. When the project was finished, a great temple named “Da Shengshou Wan’An Temple” was built around the pagoda. According to Kublai Khan, it was one of the most important building projects in Yuan dynasty. After rebuilding, its name changed to “Miao Ying temple”.

The White pagoda is 51 meters high. It is erected on a three-storey diamond block 810 sq meters large, in a unique Tibetan style. The body of the pagoda resembles a covered alms bowl. 13 rings around the body reflect deep Buddhist symbolism. There is also a small 2-meter Lamaist pagoda on the sky disk (10m in diameter).

White Pagoda Temple is divided into five parts. The Hall Of Six Supernatural Powers preserves the original structure of family hall for worshipping the Buddha. It contains the wooden carving of shakyamuni from Qing dynasty, as well as statues of Amitabha and Medicine Buddha. Thepicture of Dharmapalas, eight dharma protector, is also displayed on the wall.  In the center of the hall, there is an exhibition of pagoda’s model and the treasures of the temple.  Nearly 10 thousand figures of Buddha, each of different size, age and design form The Tibetan Buddha Art Palace.

Mythical Stories of  White Pagoda Temple:

Go to the temple fair

In the eighth year of Xuande in Ming Dynasty (1433 AD), emperor Mingxuanzong (the emperor’s official name) issued the edict to renovate the white pagoda. In the first year of Tianshun (1457 AD), the whole temple was also under reconstruction and was named “Miaoying Temple” (in fact, “White Pagoda Temple” is just a colloquial name) with an area of merely 13 thousand square meters, covering only a strip in the middle of the temple built in Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368 AD). During the time of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), Qing Dynasty (1636-1911 AD) and the Republic of China (1911-1949 AD), the temple experienced several further renovations. In 1900 AD, The Eight Power Allied Force invaded Beijing. They plundered the Miaoying Temple, stealing many ritual instruments and the offering objects. In the second half of the Qing Dynasty rule, the monks rented the side halls and the vacant areas of the Temple to merchants. It later became one of the most famous temple fairs in Beijing, bustling with noise and excitement on holidays. Thus, a folk custom came into being – “the eighth day of the eighth lunar month, time to go to the temple fair of the White Pagoda.”
Another custom associated with the pagoda exists. Every year, on the 25th day of the tenth lunar month (the date of completion of the construction of the White Pagoda), lamas march around the White Pagoda and chant sutras accompanied by the music. The event always gathers big crowds, creating a very lively scene. Even today, there are still many Buddhist devotees circling the pagoda and praying for well-being on that day.

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