Located along the ancient north-south Central Axis of Beijing, Jing Shan(Coal Hill or Prospect Hill) connects to the Gate of Divine Prowess of Forbidden City on the south and is close to the Drum and Bell towers on its north. It adjoins Beihai Park on its west and is a perfect place to get an aerial view of Beijing’s urban landscape and the Forbidden City complex. Jingshan Park was an imperial garden during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. During the Yuan Dynasty, more than 600 years ago, Jing Shan was just a small massif named Qing Shan. Legend has it that the coal used for the construction of the Forbidden City during the Ming Dynasty was often piled at Jing Shan; so Jing Shan got another name: Coal Hill. During Emperor Yong Le’s reign of the Ming Dynasty, earth from the moat was piled at Jing Shan creating a huge earthen hill, called Long Live Hill or Inner City Guard Hill. Jing Shan got its Prospect Hill name during the Qing Dynasty. The wooded park, including its Shouhuang Hall, Wanchun Pavilion and Qiwang Tower, is a pleasant place for tourists to rest after a tour of the Forbidden City.
Jing Shan was the final resting place for many emperors. Emperor Chongzhen of Ming Dynasty hanged himself on a Chinese scholar tree on Jing Shan as Manchu troops approached. The Yongen Hall and Guande Hall were used for storing the coffins of the emperors from the time of Emperor Qianlong.
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