© 2011 Matúš

Beijing view from Beihai park

Beijing view from Beihai park hill - White Pagoda

Beijing view from Beihai park hill - White Pagoda

The layout of Beihai park is based on an ancient Chinese legend. According to the legend, there were supposed to be three islands where the gods lived. One of them was called Penglai Island where a kind of herbal medicine grew. This medicine was supposed to prolong life. The first emperor of the Qin Dynasty wanted to live forever so he sent people to the islands to look for the longevity medicine, but they failed. Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty also wanted to live an eternal life. He ordered that a big pool be dug at the back of his palace, complete with three artificial hills to represent Penglai and the other islands. So these legendary hills were built in the eastern capital of Luoyang during the Sui Dynasty and also in the Tang Dynasty capital of Chang’an. Beihai Park was built after this traditional style.

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