Changchun Garden is located in Haiding District of Beijing, the south side of Yuanmingyuan Garden and the west side of Peking University. The original name of Changchun Garden is Qinghua Garden established by Li Wei, the grandfather of Shenzong Emperor of Ming dynasty. In the garden, the architecture include: Front Lake, Rear Lake, Qingya Pavilion, Yihai Hall, Huaju Pavilion and so on. In accordance with the historical record of Ming dynasty, this garden covers 1200 mu(a common unit of China especially to count the size of the farmland). It was at the time deemed to be the NO.1 Garden in Capital. But the garden was deserted after Ming Dynasty was overturned.
In 1684, after Emperor Kangxi’s return from southern China, by virtue of the remains of the Changchun Garden and the feature of South China landscape, a new Changchun Garden was reconstructed to be the temporary palace in the outskirt for state administration in summer. The general designer of the garden was Ye Tao, a Palace Painter. And Zhan Ran a famous garden expert of traditional gardening of southern China, was also employed to design the placement of rocks and water. Meanwhile the Wanquan River (Ten-Thousand Springs River) water system was restored to channel water into garden and besides to resist the water, a west bank was built in the west of garden(Currently it was the east bank of Summer Palace).
According to the records and the analysis, Changchun Garden in Qing Dynasty had a total length of 1000 meters from south to north and total width of 600 meters from east to west. The total area was 60 hectares or so. The garden gates were comprised of five: Grand Palace Gate, Grand East Gate, Grand West Gate, and Northwest Gate. The main gate is at the east side of south wall, in the gate, the Changchun Garden was divided into Administrative zone and Residential zone. Many elaborative buildings are scattered in the garden. The view of Changchun Garden mainly emphasizes the garden landscape. The architecture is simple and undecorated. Most of the houses are the small-sized scrolling side and tile-roof building. In the garden, a large number of ancient trees, ancient vines of Ming Dynasty were planted there. Also, The Calyx Canthus, Yulan, Clove, Peony, Peach trees, Apricot and Grape Trees were also available. Some rare animals with the auspicious meaning such as White Crane, Elk, and Peacock were also raised in the garden. Changchun Garde had a large influence to the establishment of Summer Resort and Yuanmingyuan Garden.
Sine the completion of Changchun Garden, annually, half a year of Emperor Kangxi was spent in living in this garden until his death in 1722. Hereafter, Emperors Rongzheng and Qianlong both lived in Yuanming Garden. The Lingchun Hall of Changchun Garden was also ordered to be the residence of Queen Mother. As the declination of Qing Dynasty, Changchun Garden was gradually ignored to be restored or architectural expanded. In 1860 and 1900, Changchun Garden was twice destroyed by foreign aggressor. Now parts of its site were distributed in No.2 affiliated secondary school of Peking University and Staff Residential Zone of Peking University. Enyou Temple and Enmu Tmeple as the remains of Changchun Garden were listed the cultural relics under the municipal protection of Beijing.
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