Longtan Park China, Beijing

Longtan Park

The Longtan Park (simplified Chinese: 龙潭湖公园; traditional Chinese: 龍潭湖公園; pinyin: Lóngtánhú Gōngyuán; literally: "Pool of Chinese Dragon", is a recreational urban park located in the Chongwen District of Beijing, just east of the Temple of Heaven. It is one of the largest modern parks inside the 2nd Ring Road of Beijing. There is also a large outdoor bird market in the park. Located at the center of the park is a large lake called which features many moon bridges, rock gardens, dragon boats, tea houses and restaurants. '

The major landscape in this park is the Longtan Lake, which literally means the Pool of Chinese Dragon. The lake used to be a huge man-made cave on the ground. The cave was created during Jiajing Emperor's reign of Ming Dynasty, when people in Beijing dug earth and mud there to make bricks for the city wall of Beijing Outer City. After that, the cave became the drainage area of the old Beijing, and became a lake of waste water.

In 1952, the Beijing government decided to solve the environmental problem caused by the lake of waste water. They drew away waste water from the lake, and invited Liang Sicheng, a famous architect and landscape designer, to re-design this area to be a public park. At last, the lake of waster water turned into a new scenic lake filled with freshwater. Some other attractions are also located in the park, such as a temple of Yuan Chonghuan, the collection of tablets,a series of hills, the waterfall and gardens of Chinese Dragons.