Round City


Just outside Beihai Park's southern entrance is this raised, circular platform crowned with the Hall of Divine Light (Chéngguāng Diàn). You can peek inside at a 1.5m-tall statue of Sakyamuni, made from white jade and originating in Burma. In front of the hall is the only surviving relic of Kublai Khan's palace, an enormous wine vessel of green jade dating from 1265.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Beijing attractions

1. Yong'an Temple

0.16 MILES

Rising up the steep southern slope of Jade Islet, the Temple of Eternal Peace is best accessed via the south entrance of Beihai. The complex climbs…

2. White Dagoba

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Topping Jade Islet (琼岛; Qióngdǎo), the 36m-high Tibetan-style White Dagoba was built in 1651 by the first Qing emperor to honour a visit by the Dalai Lama…

3. Fuyou Temple

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Outside the northwest walls of the Forbidden City is this Qing dynasty Buddhist temple, once used for worshipping the god of rain. It's one of several in…

4. Palace of Gathered Elegance

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This hall contains interesting photos of the last emperor Puyi, who lived here as a child ruler at the turn of the 20th century. Empress Dowager Cixi also…

5. Beihai Park

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Beihai Park, inside the old Imperial City, looks much as it would have done in the 18th century when it served as Emperor Qianlong's private gardens. The…

6. Palace of Eternal Longevity


One of the six western palaces in the Forbidden City, this was the residence of various empresses and imperial concubines. The Chongzhen Emperor (1628…

7. Hall of Mental Cultivation


In the late Qing dynasty, the Hall of Mental Cultivation was where empress dowagers Cixi and Cian took charge of the state affairs behind a screen, when…

8. Gate of Divine Prowess

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The Forbidden City’s north gate, for exit-only. From here you can cross the road into Jingshan Park. During imperial times, the gate was used by servants…