Why Jingshan Park is special
North of the Forbidden City is Jingshang Park. From the Pavillon of Eternal Peace you have a wonderful view over the Palace. This Park had been an Imperial Garden during Ming and Qing Dynasty. Later people used to store coal there. That is why this park is also called Coal Hill.
One famous incident took place here in 1644, when Emperor Chongzhen, the last emperor of Ming dynasty, hang himself on a tree of Jing Shan hill for being afraid of some rebels.
This is a very good place to watch people doing their Tai Chi exercise or dance or doing something else for their health.
Jingshan Park Highlights
The artificial hill in the park (Mei Shan or Coal Hill) used to be the highest point in Beijing. It was made with material excavated when making the Taiyi (Pool of Heavenly Water) during the 12th century and the Forbidden City's river moat in the fifteenth century. The hill was then planted and became an imperial garden.
North of the hill, five pavilions were erected on top of the hill, including the Wan Chun Ting (Pavilion of Everlasting Spring) which gives extensive views of the Imperial City, including the Three Seas with the Western Hills in the distance.
Water calligraphy has grown in popularity as a branch of more traditional calligraphy over the last decade. This is possibly as a result of its popularity among tourists and also provides an opportunity for the elderly practitioners to exercise and socialize.
Artists dip long-handled brushes in water and produce delicately sculpted writing on pavers. These remain for a short while and then slowly evaporate, leaving a blank canvas for the next thought or expression.
Jingshan Park is an excellent destination to stand enthralled by these septuagenarian artists and their ilk.