The main entrance can be rather misleading of the size of the park – thinking that it might be a mini-park. In reality, it has an area of more than 700,000sqm, with water area that covers more than half of the entire Park. A quiet and yet vigorous in its own way… as you see people (mostly elders) dancing, practising their calligraphy on the walk, sitting by the bench, chatting, or just doing nothing to pass the day…
The most attractive sight would be the Nine-Dragon Wall, built in 1757 during the Qing Dynasty. It was made of seven-colour glaze bricks decorated with nine complete dragons playing in the clouds on both sides of the wall – so the brochures said. I didn’t count how many dragons cos I was busy admiring the flawless (almost) encraving….
The huge hall opposite the southern entrance (or Jingshan Men) is the beautifully proportioned but curiously inappropriately named Qiwang Lou or Beautiful View Tower; the name is inappropriate because it has the worst view of every single structure in the entire park. The building is worth admiring, even though the municipal parks people insist on putting tubs of palms on the terrace and front and they have now erected a huge 'information hoarding' in front of it. The crass ignorance of the people responsible for China's architectural heritage never ceases to amaze me.
Don't forget to head round to the east of the hill where a memorial stone commemorates the last of the Ming emperors hanged himself from a tree; the tree was considered an accomplice to this heinous crime and was for a long time manacled. Odd but true.
In April, the gardens are full of peonies and this is one of the three best places in China to see mass displays of China's national flower: the other two are the Beijing Botanical Gardens out at Xiangshan and in Luoyang in Henan Province, the home of peonies.
The local community is particularly active in Jingshan Park, and many corners are busy with people dancing, playing instruments and just getting together to sing. Others prefer to play chess or mahjong, while others are content to roam around on the grass, one of the few parks in China which seems unbothered by citizens sitting on the hallowed green stuff.
The only ground rising more than about a metre from Beijing's flat landscape, Jingshan has an odd history, but remains one of the best plaves to see the Forbidden City, despite current major renovation works that have closed all the hillside and hilltop pavilions. Any other city on the plant would close and renovate them one at a time, but this is Beijing and the authorities don't generally used joined-up thinking when tackling anything these days. As long as the whole place looks good for the Olympics mediafest, locals and current visitors don't count for much.
The Mei Shan Tan Hai as the area was originally known is always rather tranquil, despite its proximity to the Forbidden City which lies immediately to the south. During the Liao Dynasty, large quantities of coal and charcoal were stored here for use if the supplies ran out or the city was besieged. The coal was stored on the ground in large piles, and the charcoal in a huge pit nearby - hence the name Mei Shan Tan Hai (Coal Hill, Charcoal Sea). Soil from the nearby lakes covered the coal and a mountain grew to protect the Imperial City from nasty spirits coming from the north.
In the Ming Dynasty it was referred to as Ten Thousand Year Hill and then later, in the Qing, as Prospect Hill (Jingshan) which has stuck, although locals still call it Mei Shan or Coal Hill.
The five hillside pavilions were built in 1758 by Qianlong, and although the guidebooks all start their tours in the south gate, opposite the north gate of the Forbidden City, the best way to visit it is surely by climbing from the back of the hill to allow the full spectacle of the golden roofs of the Forbidden City to suddenly appear through the pines and junipers on the slopes. Climbing up to the summit of the hill, the five pavilions each provide a wonderful view out over the Forbidden City, with the absolute peak being the Hall of Ten Thousand Springs - given that it's at the top of the hill, it's as curious a name as the 'Beautiful View Tower' at the bottom.
Just to the North ot the Forbidden City, Interesting stop off on the way back to the bus to see the tree where the last Ming Emporer, Chong Zhen, hung himself when he realised that the dynasty was over.
This park is located just opposite the north entrance gate of forbidden city.
This is a remarkable place full of conscientious gardens and historic buildings.
Also offers a great view of forbidden city from high.
We also spoted some people doing a painting on the ground technique using a strange paint from oil or something like this.
This park offers the best view of the Forbidden City that you can possibly find.
The hill was acctually built from the earth that was removed when they dug out the moat for the palace.
But the view is not limited to the palace, you get a superb panorama over the whole city once you've climbed your way to the top.
On the east side of the hill you can find the locust tree where the last of the Ming emperors hung himself when the city was overrun by rebels.
And below the hill there are a small garden with benches to relax weary feet and maby write a postcard or two.
Jingshan Park itself is worth visiting, but the most important purpose to visit here is to see the dynamic view of the Forbidden City. If the weather is pretty good, you should go to the park in the evening. You will be able to see beautiful and glorious landscape of the Forbidden City.
The Coal Hill or with its modern name Prospect Hill park (Jingshan Gongyuan).
This hill is located on the northern side of the Forbidden City.
It is wise to start your visit here; from the top of this Coal Hill you have splendid view over the Forbidden City. (A tip from a friend who visited Beijing a few years ago). Unfortunately I did not have enough time to climb this hill.
Directly to the northof the Forbidden City is Coal HillOn its eastern slope the last Ming emperor reputedly hung himself in 1644. This picture was taken just outside The Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwumen)
This is an interesting park located right north of the Forbidden City. Here you must have a camera to photograph Beijing city as well as the Forbidden City roopftops. If you walk down to the eastern end of the park there is a famous locust tree where the last of the Ming emperors, ChongZhen, hung himself as the city was overtaken by rebels. The admission fee to the park is Y2 and it is open from 6:00 to 21:30 every day!
People make up cities, so it's great to get a closer look at the everyday lives of Beijingers. My favourite place is Jingshan Park. (Tiantan park is also a good place.) Go early in the morning or in the evening.
You will find older people dancing ballroom dances, writing caligraphy on the pavement, playing very energetic games, etc
The older people are agile beyond belief!
*** Don't forget to go to the top of Jingshan Hill which offers a splendid view of the Forbidden City and Beijing,
Seeing that the sun was coming down quickly, I ran up the hill of Jingshan Park and caught a beautiful view of: Forbidden City with golden roofs to the south, temples to the north, and this one of the West of Beijing with hills in the distance. Quite a spectacle!
You will get a magnificent view of the Forbidden City from the top of the hill. Tourists came up the hill one after another. Chinese parents looked so happy when they took pictures of their kids there. It was nice to see such a happy Chinese families.
Jing Shan Park is located at north of Frobidden City, the last emperor of Ming dinasty was hang himself on a tree of Jing Shan hill.
The best place to overlook the Forbidden City,to see how much extense the area is.
Then i make my entrance to the rear gate,it´s more impressive,when approaching the front gate.