Beihai Park, a classical garden located at Wenjin Street, Xicheng District in the downtown area, is acclaimed as “the earliest imperial garden in the world” and known as one of the most ancient and intact royal gardens extant in China.
With a history of 1,000 years, now Beihai Park covers an area of 68.2 hectares. It has existed throughout the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Most of the buildings now standing were constructed during Emperor Qianlong's regin in the Qing Dynasty(1644-1911 A.D.).
The entire layout of the park is arranged according to the depiction of the old Chinese mythology about “Fairyland of Pengying”(a fabled abode of immortals). The main attractions in the garden include Bridge of Perpetual Peace, Jade Islet, Temple of Perpetual Peace, White Pagoda, Semi-lunar City, Stele of Spring Shade at Jade Islet, Hall of Delight, Three Halls of Jade Luster, Tower of Retrospection, Bronze Magical Plate for Holding the Dews, Stretching Tower, Studio of Mental Harmony, Nine Dragons Wall, Iron Image Wall, Five Dragons Pavilion, Temple of Expounding Bless, Earthly Western Paradise, and so on.
Beihai Park was opened to the public in 1925 and in 1961 it was one of the first important cultural sites placed under protection by the State Council.