Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beijing Ritan Park

Mural of Ritual Sacrifice to the Sun, Ritan Park
This is the Mural of Ritual Sacrifice to the Sun in Ritan Park, just west of the old Embassy area in eastern Beijing. It is six meters tall and 15 meters long. "On its center is Gold Crow, the god of sun. Flying Asparas, emperors and nobles, as well as their officials and people are around the god to offer their sacrifices, which is a grand ceremony."

The Beijing government has taken great care throughout the whole park, which was built in 1530 for the sacrifice ritual illustrated above. In the north section, there is a large "ritual circle" where today people practice tai chi and fly kites. Nearby is an exercise area--check out the climbing wall, complete with North Face logo.

Kite-flying, Ritan Park
Exercise area, Ritan Park
As charming as this was, we were surprised by the rock and water gardens on the west side of the park. In the background of the bottom right photo, you can see the rock shown at top left.

Ritan ParkRitan Park
Ritan ParkRitan Park

Past that is the south gate of the park, opening onto the old Embassy area, Jianguomenwai. But the coolest part of the park experience has to be Qinghui Pavilion, which I'm guessing is its highest elevation. The weather was cold, but it was clear and bright, affording awesome views of the CBD, or central business district.

Southern gate, Ritan ParkQinghui Pavilion, Ritan Park

View from Qinghui Pavilion, Ritan Park
View from Qinghui Pavilion, Ritan Park
Remember, you should click on photos to see the full-size version!

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