Beihai Park

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Beihai Park is an imperial garden to the northwest of the Forbidden City in Beijing. First built in the 10th century, it is amongst the largest of Chinese gardens, and contains numerous historically important structures, palaces and temples. Since 1925, the place has been open to the public as a park. It is also connected at the south to the Shichahai.

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Beihai Park
Beihai Park

The Park has an area of more than 69 hectares, with a lake that covers more than half of the entire Park. At the center of the Park is an island called Qionghua Island with a highest point of 32 m. In the north of the park there is a large pool called the Taiye Pool connecting the two other pools, which are called the Middle Sea and the South Sea respectively. Therefore the Taiye Pool is also called the Beihai.

Beihai Park
Beihai Park

Beihai literally means "Northern Sea". There are also corresponding "Central" and "Southern Seas" (Zhongnanhai). The complex of buildings around Zhongnanhai houses China's paramount leaders.

Beihai Park
Beihai Park

The Beihai Park, as with many of Chinese imperial gardens, was built to imitate renowned scenic spots and architecture from various regions of China; the taihu lake, the elaborate pavilions and canals in Hangzhou and Yangzhou, the delicate garden structures in Suzhou and others all served as inspirations for the design of the numerous sites in this imperial garden. The structures and scenes in the Beihai Park are described as masterpieces of gardening technique that reflects the style and the superb architectural skill and richness of traditional Chinese garden art.

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