Located in Forbidden City, Beijing, China, the Imperial Gardens offer peace and tranquillity in the heart of a major tourist attraction. The gardens were originally built for emperors to relax in and enjoy the serene natural beauty of the outdoors. The Imperial Gardens are home to myriad lakes, temples, pavilions and the Hall of Imperial Peace.
The main structure within the gardens is the Hall of Imperial Peace. Built in the 15th century, this building separates the east and western areas of the garden. The hall comprises chamber rooms of differing styles and intricately carved sculptures all around. Outside the Hall of Imperial Peace, charming pavilions dot the landscape like an ancient Chinese painting. Cypress trees, Chinese wisteria, bamboo canes and pines line the gardens forming a lush canvas in which to explore, photograph or relax. Visitors can follow the coloured pavement through the gardens, where over 900 patterns decorate the stone pathways with figures, flowers and stories which symbolise good luck and fortune. To the north-east lies a rocky mountain, known as “Gathering Beauty Hill”, it’s piled high with stones from the lake and features a small cave. At the summit lies the Pavilion of Imperial View where emperors would climb to enjoy the vistas over the gardens during times of local festivals. Visitors can step back in time, sip tea or read a book underneath an ancient tree, admire flora and fauna or take a picnic next to the ponds. Alternatively, take a walk to Jinshan Park hill for the most incredible views of Forbidden City.
The easiest way to enter Forbidden City and Imperial Gardens of the Palace Museum is via South Meridian Gate, the only tourist access entrance gate for visitors wishing to access the entire complex. However, it is possible to exit to the north of Forbidden City through Gate of Divine Might. Subway trains offer transportation to Tiananmen East or West stations, and there are also bus services which stop close by. Taxis can drop off at Tiananmen or as near as possible.
Constructed during the Ming dynasty around 1417, the Imperial Gardens were utilised as a private retreat for the ruling families. The gardens are on the perimeter of Forbidden City, in each corner lies a special pavilion dedicated to each of the four seasons. Visitors come to the gardens each year from all over the world to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, incredible architecture and to learn about the ancient history of the dynasties who once called this home.