Zhōngshān Park

Park in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Named after Sun Zhongshan (Sun Yatsen), the father of modern China, this peaceful park sits at the southwest corner of the Forbidden City and partly looks out onto the palace’s moat (you can rent pedal-boats here) and towering walls. A refreshing prologue or conclusion to the magnificence of the Forbidden City, the park was formerly the sacred Ming-style Altar to the God of the Land and the God of Grain, where the emperor offered sacrifices. The Square Altar remains, bordered on all sides by walls tiled in various colours.

Near the park's south entrance stands a towering dark-blue-tiled páilou (traditional Chinese archway) with triple eaves that originally commemorated the German Foreign Minister Baron von Ketteler, killed by Boxers in 1900. Just off to the right (east) is the 100-year-old Láijīnyǔxuān Teahouse. North of here, also in the eastern section of the park, is the Forbidden City Concert Hall. As with Jǐngshān Park, April and May is a beautiful time to visit thanks to the hugely colourful Spring Flower and Tulips Show. The northeast exit of the park brings you out by Meridian Gate, from where you can enter the Forbidden City. The south exit brings you out near Tiān’ānmén Sq.