Imperial Garden (Yuhuayuan)

The Imperial Garden is located outside of the Gate of Terrestrial Tranquility. Constructed during the Ming dynasty in 1417, it is rectangular in shape and covers approximately 12,000 square meters. This was a private retreat for the imperial family and is the most typical of the Chinese imperial garden design. There are some twenty structures, each of a different style, and the ways in which they harmonise with the trees, rockeries, flower beds and sculptural objects such as the bronze incense burners both delight and astonish visitors. It is a worthy tribute to the art of the designers that so much can be achieved in so small a space.
Pavilion of Ten Thousand Spring
Pavilion of Myriad Springs
Pavilion of Floating Green, Imperial Garden
Pavilion of Floating Green (Fubi Pavilion)
The Hall of Imperial Peace (Qin'andian) is the dominant building in the garden and occupies the central position. Surrounded by a wall, it dates from the 15th Century. Growing in front of the hall is a four hundred year old pine tree. Known as the Consort Pine, it symbolises the harmony between the Emperor and Empress. The door to the hall is protected from evil spirits by two gilded unicorns. Inside the hall prayers were offered up to the Taoist God of Water, Zhenwudadi, for the protection of the Forbidden City from destruction by fire.

At each of the four corners of the garden there is a pavilion. These symbolise the four seasons. The Pavilion of Myriad Springs (Wanchunting) is the most famous and occupies the eastern corner. Built in 1535 and restored during the Qing dynasty, as its name implies, it is this pavilion that symbolizes spring.

Located in the north-east is Duixiushan, Gathering Beauty Hill is a little artificial mountain with a cave. Yujingyuan (Pavilion of Imperial View) sits on top of the mountain. Emperors would climb up to the pavilion on the Double Ninth Festival to enjoy the scenery with the royal family.
Incense Burner
Incense Burner
Imperial Garden
Imperial Garden, Forbidden City
Visitors will see some of the footpaths are paved with varied patterns of coloured pebbles, symbolising good luck and fortune. The more observant visitor will find a group of pictures depicting shrews punishing their husbands. It seems strange that such pictures should appear here in feudal China at a time when male dominance and more especially the omnipotence of the emperor prevailed!

At the northern end of the garden is Shenwumen, the Gate of Divine Might and the rear exit from the Forbidden City.

Having visited all the sites on the east and west sides of the Inner Court, you may leave via the Gate of Divine Might.

Go north to the Hall of Imperial Peace (Qin'andian), Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwumen).  See introduction to the Moat, Corner Towers of the Forbidden City (Jiaolou)

One can also see the Six Western Palaces (Xiliugong) to the southwest, or the Six Eastern Palaces (Dongliugong) to the southeast.

 Further Reading: How to visit the Forbidden City

- Last updated on Nov. 27, 2023 by Kate Liu -
Questions & Answers on Imperial Garden
Asked by soha from CANADA | May. 01, 2016 17:19Reply
Do Imperial Gardens have operating hours or can I go anytime? (i.e. for sunrise)
Answers (3)
Answered by Henry from USA | May. 01, 2016 20:21

The garden is located in the Forbidden City, and the opening hours are as below:
April to October: 8:30-17:00 (last entry 16:10)
November to the next March: 8:30-16:30 (last entry 15:40)
So of course visiting whenever you want is impossible.
Answered by Soha from CANADA | May. 02, 2016 01:36

Is there any other places you can recommend to get a great view of forbidden city at sunrise?
Answered by Henry | May. 02, 2016 20:37

You may go to Jingshan Park. You can have a bird's-eye view of the palace, and enjoy the beautiful sunrise. :)
Asked by vishal from INDIA | Aug. 17, 2015 05:07Reply
Answers (3)
Answered by Gary from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 17, 2015 22:24

You must refer to the North Gate of Gugong, right?

If yes, after you take the Exit, you should walk westwards for 220 yards, take the bus No. 109, 101 or 58 from Gugong station to Dongsi LUKOUO East Station. Then walk about 65 yards, you will reach the subway station.

It is about 1.3 miles between these two places, you can also take a taxi to reach, the fare is about CNY15- 20.
Answered by VISHAL from INDIA | Aug. 19, 2015 05:08

Answered by Yoyo | Aug. 19, 2015 19:33

Gugong actually refers to Forbidden City. They are the same.
Asked by ollie from ENGLAND | Oct. 22, 2013 09:43Reply
do you have to pay to get in to the Forbidden City?
Answers (1)
Answered by Linda | Oct. 22, 2013 21:33

Yes, you have to pay and the fare is 60RMB for the peak time and 40RMB for the off season.
Asked by Surendra Nigam from INDIA | Jul. 27, 2013 01:53Reply
Exit from the forbidden city at end of tour
Can we go back to the Meridian Gate to exit at the end of the tour. If we go along the western axis to see Palace of Eternal longevity (entering that area from the imperial gardens can go south and exit from Meridian gate
Answers (2)
Answered by Susan from MALAYSIA | Jul. 28, 2013 02:28

No, you can only go out of palace from Shenwumen (the Gate of Divine Might).
For this museum, the visitors can only enter from the Meridian Gate and get out of from the Shenwumen.
Answered by Surendra Nigam from INDIALISA | Jul. 28, 2013 03:46

Lisa Many thanks for the kind reply
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