Beijing Grand View Garden
The garden is located beside the South 2nd Ring Road in Xuanwu District, and is five kilometers from Tiananmen Square. It used to be the location of the vegetable garden for the imperial family in the Ming and Qing dynasties. In 1983, for shooting TV play series of Dream of the Red Chamber (a classical Chinese novel), the classical garden, which covers 130,000 square meters, was built here according to descriptions in the novel in terms of the layout, hills and streams, configuration of plants, plaques and couplets. On Sept. 30, 1986 it was officially opened to the public as a park. It is a large-scale spot of cultural interest that combines the design of a classical garden, the culture represented by the novel, and facilities of a museum.
In the garden there are pavilions, towers, temples, courtyards, flowers, precious plants, cranes, and deer. It has over 40 scenic spots, such as Tortuous Path Leading to Seclusion, Merry Red Courtyard, Xiaoxiang House, and Homecoming Villa. The first one is a rockery of Taihu rocks named by Jia Baoyu (one of the main characters in the novel) after a line from a Tang poem. It lies just after the south main gate, in keeping with a principle of designing a classical Chinese garden. The implication is that only by following the winding path could you appreciated the secluded beauty of the garden. It also serves to screen the scenery behind it from visitors. Yihong (Merry Red) Courtyard, where Jia Baoyu lived, is the most richly decorated courtyard in the garden. Above the gate hangs a plaque that says ‘merry red and green’; ‘red’ refers to the Chinese crab apples on the west of the gate, and ‘green’ refers to the bananas on its east. Xiaoxiang House is Lin Daiyu’s residence. It is decorated with bamboo patterns, which, associated with a tragic legend, symbolizes Lin’s sentimental character. The Homecoming Villa, the principal part of the garden, was the place where Concubine Yuan met her family. The 8-meter-high, 11-meter-wide stone gateway is grand and magnificent. Behind the main hall is Grand View Tower and two wing towers, one on the east and the other on the west. The whole courtyard of the villa exudes an imperial majesty.
Every year, from the 1st to the 6th day of the Spring Festival, a Red Chamber Temple Fair is held in the garden. It features performances, folk flower fair, local snacks, and folk custom programs. A standing specialty at the fair is the costume procession named Concubine Yuan’s Homecoming. For three or four days starting from the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, evening shows are held in the garden to celebrate the Moon Festival. Major activities include performances, appreciation of the moon, and night view of the city.
Address: No. 12 Nancaiyuan, Xuanwu District, Beijing