Passing through Gate of Earthly Tranquility (Kunning Gate), I finally came to the Imperial Garden. I believed most of the visitors had the same feeling as it was a long and stressful walks from Meridian Gate till this point. One of the reasons is that you can't see any trees on the north-south central axis. And Imperial Garden is located north of Forbidden City where you could really seat down and enjoy the beauty of Imperial Pavilions, gardens, and ancient trees an etc.
The signboard was written as:
" The Imperial Garden was first constructed in 1420 (the 18th year of the Yongle reign period of the Ming Dynasty), and was slightly renovated in the Qing Dynasty. Most of the buildings in the Imperial Garden were constructed in the Jiajing and Wanli reign periods of the Ming Dynasty. In the Ming Dynasty, it was known as Gong Hou Yuan (Garden in the Rear of the Palace), and since the Qing Dynasty it has been known as the Imperial Palace. The garden is 130 meters wide from east to east, 90 meters from south to north, and covers an area of 12,000 square meters. It is the oldest and largest imperial garden in the Forbidden City. In the garden, several-hundred-year-old pines, cypresses and Chinese wistaria grow luxuriantly, and exotic stones are scattered here and there, in addition to various kinds of potted landscapes. Over 20 halls, pavilions and towers in the various styles are symmetrically located on the eastern and western sides of the central axis. The paths in the garden are meticulously paved with colored cobbles, in over 900 patterns.
The Imperial Garden is the place where the emperors, empresses and imperial concubines appreciated the scenery and amused themselves. In the Qing Dynasty, girls were selected here for the emperor's harem. "
Some of the buildings in Imperial Garden including:
1) Pavilion of the Crimson Snow (South)
2) Pavilion of Ten Thousand Spring Season (Middle)
3) Pavilion of Floating Greenery (North)
1) Study of the Cultivation of Nature (South)
2) Thousand-Year Pavilion (Middle)
3) Pavilion of Deposited Jade (North)
1) Tianyi Gate
2) Hall of Imperial Peace
Other sites including :
1) Hill of Accumulated Elegance:
2) Pavilion to User in Light
NEXT: Hall of Imperial Peace (Qinan Hall)
In Chinese: 御花园 (Yu Hua Yuan)
My favorite place in Forbidden City!!
On the East side of Imperial Garden, I started from the North to the South. That way I could exit the garden to continue visiting Palaces on the west of Forbidden City.
1) Pavilion of Deposited Jade ( 澄瑞亭， Cheng Rui Ting)
" Constructed in 1583 during the Ming Dynasty, this pavilion is located on a single-arched bridge spanning a rectangular pond. This square pavilion has four angle and a pyramid-shaped roof, covered with green glazed tiles and edged with yellow glazed tiles. The pavilion is linked by a veranda with a rolled roof and is symmetrical to Fu Bi Ting (Pavilion of Floating Greenery). " (Note from signboard)
2) Thousand-Year Pavilion (千秋亭， Qian Qiu Ting)
" Constructed in the Ming Dynasty, this Pavilion has a round upper part and a square lower part with verandas on all four sides. In the shape of a cross, the pavilion has carved overhanging eaves and multiple angles with the same shape and structure as Wang Chun Ting (Pavilion of Ten Thousand Spring Seasons) in the Imperial Garden. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Buddhist statues were enshrined in the pavilion, as well as the spirit tablet of Emperor Tongzhi. This pavilion is located in the west, which according to Chinese tradition symbolizes autumn." (Note from Signboard).
3) Study of the Cultivation of Nature (养性斋， Yang Xing Zhai)
" Built in the Ming Dynasty Yang Xing Zhai, a two-storied building in the form of character " U", enchoes with Jiang Xue Xuan (Pavilion of Crimson And White) in the form of character " 凸 "。
This study has a scluded and beautiful surroundings. Emperors Jiaqing and Daoguang of the Qing Dynasty came here very often to have a rest or read. It was also here that Sir Reginald Johnston, an English Man, gave English lessons to the abdicated Emperor Pu Yi. " (Note from the Signboard)
First, I visited the pavilions and gardens on east side of the garden. The three main buildings from south to north as the following:
1) Pavilion of Crimson Snow (Jiang Xue Xuan)
" This pavilion was constructed in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty. Originally, five Chinese flowering crab-apple tree grew in front of the pavilion. When the flowers were in full bloom, the crimson petals falling down looked like dancing snowflakes, thus the name was adopted. After the Chinese flowering crab-apple tree died, Beijing mock oranges (Philadelphus Pekinensis) were planted.
The pavilion's floor plan is shaped like this "凸" and is reflection of the Yang Xing Zhai (Study of the Cultivation of Nature), whose floor plan is shaped like this: " U ". Emperor Kangxi and Qianlong once appreciated flowers and composed poems with their officials in this pavilion. Emperor Qianlong once wrote a poem; "Where are the threes that grow more luxuriant and earlier than others in Spring? They are those near the Pavilion of Crimson Snow in front of the Hill of Accumulated Elegance." ( Note from Signboard)
2) Pavilion of Ten Thousand Spring Season (万春亭， Wan Chun Ting)
" Constructed in the Ming Dynasty, this pavilion has round upper part and a square lower part with verandas on all four sides. In the shape of a cross, the pavilion has carved overhanging eaves and multiple angles with the same shape and structure as Qian Qiu Ting (Thousand-Year Pavilion) in the Imperial Garden. In the Qing Dynasty, the statue of Lord Guan was enshrined here. The pavilion is located in the East of the Imperial Garden. Its name is derived from the Chinese tradition that East symbolizes spring." ( Note from Signboard) Great art on roof !!
3) Pavilion of Floating Greenery (浮碧亭， Fu Bi Ting)
"Constructed in the 1583 during the Ming Dynasty, this pavilion is located on a single-arched bridge spanning a rectangular pond. This square pavilion has four angles and a pyramid shaped roof, covered with green glazed tiles and edges with yellow glazed tiles. The pavilion is linked to a veranda with a rolled roof and is symmetrical to Cheng Rui Ting (Pavilion of Deposited Jade). (Note from Signboard).
This is the last thing you'll probably visit inside the Forbidden City. The Imperial Garden was first constructed in 1420 and was slightly renovated in the Qing dynasty. Most of the buildings within it were built in the Jiajing and Wanli periods of the Ming dynasty when the garden was known as Garden in the Rear of the Palace as, well, it's located at the rear of the palace! It measures 130m by 90m and covers an area of 12,000 square metres. It features 700-year old pines, cypresses and Chinese wisteria. The garden was where the emperors, empresses and imperial concubines appreciated the scenery and amused themselves. In the Qing dynasty, girls were selected here for the emperor's harem.
The outer and inner main palace courts of the Forbidden City is bricked and tiled without any vegetation. It is only in the third section at the north exit that has a trees and rock gardens.
This Imperial Garden like the rest of the Forbidden City is divided into three sections, the center, the east and the west sections.
Unique trees with wierd trunk formation from all over China has found their way to this Imperial Garden as well as the famous rocks with different formation and a small overlooking hill and other pavillions including some constructed like boats over ponds.
It is compact but too crowded with tourists. At closing time, you are chased out by non-uniformed security personnel if you try to linger till the last minute.
The imperial Garden was one of our favorite sections of the Forbidden City. It is located in the northern end of the Forbidden City, where most tourists exit after a long day of touring. Its centuries-old shade trees are a welcome sight and a sharp contrast to the large open plazas in the rest of the Forbidden City. The gardens were begun in the 1400s during the Ming Dynasty and cover an area of over 10,000 square meters. There are about 20 buildings spread throughout the gardens, the largest of which is the Hall of Imperial Peace in its center. At the northern end of the garden, there is also a large rockery.
Within the Forbidden City, all is stone and wood until the small imperial garden is reached.
Here there is a softness not found elsewhere, although these are Chinese gardens so rocks are important. There is an avenue of cypress, as well as some venerable specimens apparently 200-300 years old. Ornate pavilions, stone mosaic paths, bushes and leafy green shade trees add to the beauty of this area.
I think these trees are a few hundreds years old. The ones shown here are found at the imperial garden but I am not too sure what type of trees are these. Can somebody help me to identify?? Look at the texture of the trunk... Very unique.
Some guidebooks would recommend us to enter the forbidden city through the Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen). Our guide brought us to the opposite end and we entered through the Gate of the Divine Warrior instead which is believed to be less crowded. Thus, we travelled from North to South and visited Tiananmen after that. From the northern gate, we would reach the Imperial Gardens - Yu(4) Hua(2) Yuan(2) first. This is the place where the royalties would come to relax.
The Imperial Garden, at the North end of the Forbidden City, was built in 1417. It covers an area of around 12,000 square metres. There are many old trees in the garden, along with rock gardens and temples. One of the highlights of the garden is the interlocked Cypress tree – it is said that the last Emperor and Empress had their photograph taken here after their wedding ceremony.
By the time you get to the Imperial Garden, you are near the northern gate and therefore near the end of your tour of the Forbidden City. Hall-weary by this stage, this was my favourite part of the Palace complex.
At the very north of the Forbidden City lies the Imperial Garden. It is a beautiful garden of rocks, trees and pavilions and one of my absolue favourite places in the Forbidden City. Here, although crowded, you can't help but relax and sit for a bit to take it all in.
Simply beautiful. And plenty of welcome shade in the warmer days.
There is also a café and toilets here as well as the obligatory souvenir stands.
The imperial gardens in Beijing and its suburbs were built as a complement to the Forbidden City. There are many famous places to visit within the Garden:
Long Corridor - the Long Corridor extends over 728 meters and is decorated with more that 8,000 paintings of landscapes, flowers and human figures.
The Summer Palace
The Summer Palace (or "Yiheyuan" in Chinese), is the second largest and the best preserved imperial garden in China. The park is huge, with a large lake (Kunming Lake) and Longevity Hill. The park also has ancient Chinese temples, houses, and architecture. Be prepared to walk a lot in this park. You can also take a boat ride (man powered) through the lake. A must-see if you are visiting Beijing.