Zhongshan Park is named for Sun Zhongshan (Song Yatsen), "the father of the Chinese nation." This peaceful park stretches out along the southwestern part of the Forbidden City, approaching the defensive walls and the moat that stretches around the palace complex. You can rent a catamaran and take a boat trip on the moat. Zhongshan can be seen as a prologue to the greatness of the Forbidden City. The park began with the temple complex Altar of Earth and Cereals (Shejitan), where from the 15th century the emperors of the Ming dynasty brought offerings to the gods of the land and agriculture. The square altar has survived to our time. It is surrounded on all sides by walls lined with colorful tiles.
Near the southern entrance to the park area stands a high pailou arch (a traditional Chinese arch), lined with dark blue tiles. An arch with triple cornices was erected in memory of Baron von Ketler, German Foreign Minister, who was killed during a boxing rebellion in 1900. On the right (eastern) side is the centennial Laijinyuxuan tea house. To the north of the arch, also in the eastern section of the park area, is the Concert Hall of the Forbidden City. April and May are the best time to visit the park. In spring, everything blooms in Zhongshan and the Spring Flowers and Tulips Show takes place. The northeast exit from the park is located next to the Right Palace Gate, through which you can get to the Forbidden City. The southern exit of the park is located at Tiananmen Square. There is still a western gate.
Photo and description
The history of Zhongshan Park dates back more than 100 years, since initially in 1898 there was a small village on the site of today's attraction, which later became the site of the park. A significant role in the construction of Zhongshan was played by German troops who captured Qingdao. It was the Germans who made the decision to buy the village land into ownership and build a magnificent garden and park complex with an area of about 40,000 square meters. Moreover, over 200 thousand seedlings of rare trees and flowers from all over the world were planted on the territory of the park. This fact made it possible to make a beautiful complex from Zhunshan in the future, which to this day delights visitors.
The most significant event was the planting of 20,000 seedlings of amazing Japanese sakura brought from Japan, which is one of the most beautiful flowering trees. The sakura alley has been preserved and is currently attracting the attention of tourists no less than other objects located in the park.
In 1922, Qingdao was completely under the control of the Chinese authorities, and this was the main reason that the park was named Zhongshan in 1929 in honor of the famous military leader Sun Yat-sen, whose name at birth sounded like Sun Zhongshan. A monument erected in the central part of the park testifies to this important event.
Every day, a significant number of tourists flock to Zhongshan to ride on fun rides, take a walk along a shady alley and relax from the worldly bustle, enjoy gorgeous views, and also spend time in a calm environment surrounded by nature.
Zhongshan Park History
In the central part of the park there is a temple complex Altar of Earth and Grains (社稷坛 Shiejitan), built in 1421 during the reign of Emperor Yongle (1360-1424, on the throne from 1402, proper name Zhu-di). It is located opposite Imperial Temple of Ancestors (太庙 Tai Miao) from the southeast side of Gugun. Here the emperors of the Ming dynasties (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) made sacrifices to the gods of the land and agriculture.
In 1914, the temple complex and the area around it were transformed into Central parkopen to visit. In 1928, the park got its current name - Sun Yat-sen Park (中山公园 Zhongshan Gongyuan)*.
* Sun Yat-sen (dialect reading, 孙逸仙 Sun Yixian, November 12, 1866 - March 12, 1925) - Chinese revolutionary, founder of the Kuomintang party, interim president of the Republic of China. In China, he is better known as Sun Zhongshan, named Nakayama 中山, which he received in Japan.
Walk in the park
Several gates lead into the park - from the south, west and east sides. Let's go through Right Palace Gate (阙右门 Queyumen)located near the gates of the Forbidden City Umen Ум 门. Ahead is a long alley in the center of which is Pavilion of maxims (格言亭 Geyanting), also known as Arbor of Healing Words (藥言亭 Yaoyantin) It is an eight-column European-style rotunda. It was built in 1915. Aphorisms of ancient sages were carved on each column, but during the years of the revolution they were destroyed.
To the south of it is the northern entrance to the Altar of the Earth and Harvest (or the Temple of the Earth and Grains) 社稷 坛 shaditan.
North entrance to the Temple of the Earth and Harvest
There are two pavilions on the territory of the temple complex. Northern, smaller - Halberd Palace (戟殿 Jidian) Initially, the entrance to the Temple, which was called Halberd Gate (戟门 Jimen) 72 halberds were stored here, which were stolen by the United Army of eight countries in 1900. * In 1914, the gates were rebuilt into a palace pavilion. Now here is the Conference Room of the People’s Political Advisory Council of China.
* In 1900-1901, the combined army of Germany, Japan, Russia, England, America, France, Austria and Italy invaded China.
To the south is Palace of Worship (拜殿 Baidian), also called Palace of Prayers (祭殿 Jidian) and Gift Offering Palace (享殿 Xiangdian) It was built at the beginning of the Ming era. After the death of Sun Yat-sen in 1925, a coffin with his body was exhibited here and a farewell ceremony was held. In 1928, the palace was named Sun Yat-sen Hall (中山堂 Zhongshantan), and inside was a memorial museum.
Zhongshan Hall (Sun Yat-sen Museum)
This museum is worth a visit. Sun Yat-sen is one of the key figures in Chinese history and is often compared to Confucius or Mencius. He went down in history not only as the main ideologist of the Xinhai Revolution of 1911-1912, which overthrew the monarchy, but also as the author of the doctrine of the three popular principles and the constitution of the five authorities. * The museum contains personal items of Sun Yat-sen, his manuscripts, books, documents of his time calligraphy.
* Three popular principles: nationalism, democracy, popular welfare. Five authorities: legislative, judicial, executive, examination and control (the first three correspond to the three branches of government adopted in Western political and legal theory, the examination and control authorities have existed in one form or another in China from ancient times).
Portrait of Sun Yat-sen
Obituary of Sun Yat-sen in the People's Daily newspaper
Cutting off the scythe (symbol of enslavement) after the Xinhai revolution
Statue of Sun Yat-sen
Section of China by the Western Powers, poster
The museum displays scrolls from the sayings of Sun Yat-sen. Four characters are written on one of them: 天下为公 Tian Xia Wei Gong — "Celestial belongs to everyone". * This is a characteristic of the Great Unity Society 大同 Datong, which, according to Confucian teachings, existed in antiquity during the era of the legendary rulers Yao and Shun, as well as during the Xia dynasties (XXII-XVIII centuries BC), Shan-Yin (XVIII-XII centuries BC) and Western Zhou (XI-VIII centuries BC) and which will be built in the future. According to Sun Yat-sen, these words contain ideas of democracy and the republican form of government.
* “Kun Tzu replied: ... When we walked along the Great Way, Celestial belonged to everyone, for the management elected the wise and capable, taught fidelity, improved in friendliness. Therefore, not only his relatives were family members, but not only his children as children. The elders had charity, the mature people had use, the young had education. All the wanders, widows, orphans, lonely, wretched, and sick were looked after. The man had his share, the woman had his refuge. It was considered intolerable at that time to leave good on earth, but it should not have been saved up by itself, it was intolerable not to give the forces an outlet, but it was not supposed to work only for itself. For this reason, evil ideas did not arise, thefts and robberies, riots and unrest were not repaired, and people, leaving the house, did not lock the doors. This was called great unity. ”(Li-chi, ch. 9. Per. I. Lisevich)
Calligraphic inscription "Celestial belongs to all"
Hall of the Sun Yat-sen Museum
And here’s Sun Yat-sen’s costume - a French jacket, the famous Sunyatsenovka (中山装 Zhongshanzhuang), almost all the Chinese in the 20th century flaunted this.
Sun Yat-sen Costume
Sun Yat-sen Museum Exposition
Another famous aphorism of Sun Yat-sen: “It's hard to know, easy to act” (知难行易 Ji Nan Xing and) Sage Fu Yue, who lived in the Shang-Yin era, is credited with the phrase, which later became a proverb: "It is not difficult to know, it is difficult to put into practice." According to Sun Yat-sen, cognition is the most difficult, it is the highest type of activity. And practical activity is often performed “on the machine”.
Calligraphic inscription "To know is difficult, to act is easy"
Sun Yat-sen Hall Ceiling
In front of the Sun Yat-sen Hall is an ancient Altar of Earth and Grains. (社稷 坛 Shejitan). Here the emperors performed sacrificial ceremonies to the deity of the earth and the deity of the five cereals *. It was believed that such ceremonies guarantee the safe ripening of the crop (cf. ceremonies in the Temple of Heaven).
* Five cereals: five main crops - rice, millet, barley, wheat, beans.
Altar of Earth and Cereals (Shejitan)
Altar of Earth and Grains
The territory of the temple complex also has several park buildings and pavilions.
I especially liked Garden of pleasant aromas (蕙芳园 Huifangyuan) To get into it, you need to go through a bamboo grove.
Behind the grove are garden pavilions where an exhibition of orchids was held. Here, not only orchid varieties are interesting, but also the design of the premises.
There are many professional photographers.
Photographers at the orchid exhibition
Between galleries and pavilions often remain small spaces with an area of several square meters. They often have small gardens with stones and plants.
Bamboos in a small garden
Yard with blooming magnolias.
In the galleries that surround the garden, windows of various shapes are often cut through. The glass is applied to plant drawings.
Decorative window in the gallery
China is a southern country. And such galleries perform an important function: in winter they shelter from the weather, and in summer - from the heat. In addition, galleries visually divide the space.
At the south, the main gate to the temple complex - a lion and a lioness guarding the entrance.
Stone lions at the entrance to the temple complex
Around the temple complex is a large park with many flowers and picturesque corners. Old cypress trees grow everywhere.
One of the pavilions hosts an exhibition of modern furniture.
Noteworthy Eight Column Orchid Pavilion (兰亭八柱亭 Lanting bazhutin) It was originally located in Yuanmingyuan Park. In 1910, he was transferred to the new summer imperial palace of Iheui, and then to Sun Yat-sen Park.
There are also small man-made hills in the park, where rocky paths lead.
In the southern part of the park is a system of man-made lakes and channels.
Gallery by the lake
Another interesting building that is definitely worth a visit is Greenhouse (唐花坞 Tanghua’) It consists of three rooms, where different indoor plants are represented.
Flowers in the greenhouse
Peonies and orchids
The southern part of the park is very picturesque. Flower beds are arranged along the shores of the lakes.
Outside the park you can see the majestic Gate of Heavenly Peace (天安门 Tiananmen), the symbol of China.
Another interesting building in the park is white stone Peace Archcovered with blue tiles (保卫 和平 坊 Baowai hepin fan) Initially, it was dedicated to the memory of Baron von Ketteler, who was killed during the Boxing Uprising. * After the defeat of Germany in World War I, the inscription on the gate was changed to "The Triumph of the Law", and then to "The Defense of the World" written by a Chinese writer, historian and political figure of Guo Mozhuo (郭沫若, 1892-1978). There is a fountain in front of the arch.
* Boxing uprising, the izhetuan revolt (义和团 “units of justice and harmony”) - in 1899-1901, the uprising was against foreign interference in politics, economy and religion. It was crushed by the United Army of the eight powers.
Behind the arch, on the north side is a monument to Sun Yat-sen.
Monument to Sun Yat-sen
There are still many interesting places and beautiful pavilions in the park.
The northern part of the park adjoins the canal around Gugun. There is a small boat station.
Walls and corner tower of the Forbidden City
Rock at the west entrance to the park
Visitor Information and Map
How to get there: by 天安门 西 Tian’anmen West subway, line 1.
Working hours: 6: 00-22: 00 (June-August), 6: 00-21: 00 (April-May, September-October), 6: 30-20: 00 (November-March). The cash desk closes 1 hour before the park closes.
Ticket price: Park - 3 yuan, a full ticket (with a visit to the Greenhouse and Garden of pleasant aromas) - 5 yuan, Sun Yat-sen Hall - 2 yuan.
In my past visits to Beijing, I ignored this park. And as it turned out, in vain. Unlike Gugun, there are relatively few people here. A very interesting exposition of the Sun Yat-sen Museum. And for flower lovers there is a real paradise!