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Home >> Beijing Travel Attractions >> Summer Palace - Beijing tourist information

Jingshan Hill ("Coal Hill")

Jingshan Hill
Jingshan Hill

Going through the Gate of Divine Prowess, the northern end of the Imperial Palace, you will come to Jingshan Hill. It is in the heart of Beijing's inner city and the highest elevated point of old Beijing. Originally there was only a small hill located here (Qing Shan or Green Hill) but at the beginning of the fifteenth century, when the Imperial Palace was being built, unnecessary dirt when constructing the moat was heaped on Qing Shan and five peaks were created. The name Coal Hill (Mei Shan) comes from the fact that coal was once stored here.

When you first enter the grounds you will see Beautiful View Tower. Looking up, you will see five eighteenth-century pavilions, one on each of the five peaks. On the middle peak stands the largest pavilion, the three-story Pavilion of Ten Thousand Springs. This can be reached by a path up the side of the hill and the view from the top is magnificent, coupling not only a view of the Imperial Palace but also modern-day Beijing. At the foot of the hill stands the tree that legend tells us is where the last Ming Emperor, Chong Zhen, hanged himself in 1644 A.D. when his enemies forced the gates of the capital.

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