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Home >> China City Guide >> Beijing >> Fragrant Hill - Beijing sightseeing information

Fragrant Hill

Fragrant Hill, Beijing
Fragrant Hill
Beijing Fragrant Hill
Fragrant Hill lies on the eastern end of the Western Mountains, 40 kilometers west to Beijing proper. The Western Mountians, a part of the Taihang Mountains, resemble a bow embracing Beijing on the plain. In the mid-18th century, the imperial court of the Qing Dynasty spent a great amount of money on the construction of a grand summer resort on Fragrant Hill -- the Qingyi Garden. In 1860 English and French allied army and in 1890 the army of the Eight-Power Allied Forces invaded Beijing, looting and setting fire on all the famous imperial gardens in the capital. The palatial halls, towers and pavilions in Qingyi Garden were not spared. After the founding of the People's Repulic in 1949, some of the scenic spots in the garden have been restored. Most famous attractions in Xiangshan Park today are Jianxing (Seeing the Heart) Studio, Shuangqing (Double Clear-Fountain) Villa and Zhao Monastery in the park and Biyun (Azure Cloud) Temple and Wuofo (Sleeping Buddha) Temple near the park.

Fragrant Hill is covered with ancient trees. In late fall the leaves of smoke trees turn ruby red. To admire the red leaves on Fragrant Hill is a favorite item for an outing of Beijing residents.

Shuangqing Villa

The exquisite compound is complete with hills, springs, tress, rockeries and bamboo. Two fountains in the western part gave its name Shuangqing (Double Fountains). The name plaque is in the handwriting of Emperor Qian Long.

Xianglu [Incense Burner] Peak

The main peak of Fragrant Hill is 550 meters above sea level. Two giant rocks on top of it are named Breast Rocks. Standing on top of the rocks one has a grand view down bellow: a sea of clouds and trees.

Biyun [Azure Cloud] Temple

Built in the mid-14th century, the six courtyards are arranged up a slope. The temple is famous for its 500 Arhat Hall and Diamond Throne.

500- Arhat Hall

There are actually 508 statues of arhats in the hall, each 1.5 meters high, made of clay but wrapped in gold foil. They show the high sculpture skills during the Qing Dynasty.

Sleeping Buddha

The copper statue of Buddha in the Wufo (sleeping Buddha) Temple at the foot of Fragrant Hill is 5.2 meters long and weighs 25 tons. Around the Buddha on its eastern, western and northern sides stand 12 colored statues. statues. Legend has it that this is the scene when Sakyamuni gave his last words to his 12 disciples on his deathbed.

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Fragrant Hills
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