With a total area of 1.467 million square metres, the Shichahai(Shicha Lake) Historical and Cultural Scenic Area is the largest of Beijing’s historical and cultural relicsprotection zones. It has 340,000 square metres of water surface and 115,000 square metres of green fields. Ponds graced with lotuses and lakeside willows are a part of its unique scenery. It has more than 40 cultural relics-protection sites, including the Bell and Drum Tower, Prince Gong’s Mansion and the former residence of Madame Soong Ch’ing-ling. The simple and honest traditions and customs of old Beijing can still be found in a large number of old hutong (alleys) and siheyuan (walled courtyard residences), which also constitute the richest sources of folklore tourism in Beijing.
In the future, the Shichahai area will continue to tap its cultural relics and historic sites, lakes and natural scenery, as well as its folk culture, to become an urban garden with strong local flavours while offering comprehensive, modern services.
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