Morning Stroll around Ritan Park

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

 

Ritan Park stands out from the numerous public parks in Beijing. “Ritan” literally means “Altar for the Sun” or “Temple of the Sun”, a place for ritual sacrifice to the Sun by the successive emperors in Ming and Qing dynasties. Besides “Temple of the Sun”, in Beijing we have Temple of Heaven, Temple of the Earth and Temple of the Moon.

The original altar was built in 1530 during the late Ming Dynasty. The altar faces west and it was a square base made from white stone with its surface glazed red symbolising the sun in Ming Dynasty. In Qing Dynasty it was rebuilt in bricks with nines steps in its four directions – east, south, west and north, which was surrounded by a red-colored wall with glazed tiles. The present altar was built in 1951 accordance with its original form in Qing Dynasty. For the same year, a public park was built with the Sun Altar in the center.

Ritan Park is located in the heart of the embassy area in Beijing. Now Ritan Park is a peaceful and serene respite from the bustle of Beijing. If you are planning your Beijing tour, spending one or two hours in the park is a pleasant escape from so called classic attractions in Beijing for an appealing opportunity to feel and touch the real life for the common people in Beijing.

A morning stroll around Ritan Park will reward you with a chance to mix with the locals. Ritan Park is like a family park where men and women do all sorts of exercises – practice Tai Chi, dancing and singing, playing music, playing badminton, joggers or walkers, meditation…on and on. It is also a green park with many benches, an oasis in the city of Beijing. In a word, Ritan Park is a place where you just slow down and recharge.

Ritan Park has three major entrances, namely, south, north and west with its southern gate close to the Chang’an Avenue. Take subway line 1 and get off at the stationg of Yonganli, then walk for about 1.4km, you will reach the southern entrance to Ritan Park. The park is free of charge and open 24 hours a day. Its address: 6 Ritan Beilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing ( tel: 85611389 ). This is the southern entrance to Ritan Park.
This is the southern entrance to Ritan Park.

This is the southern entrance to Ritan Park.

Just follow me along the central axis towards the north entrance to the park. In the park here and you there you could see the wooden signboards poining to the places in the park.
you could see the wooden signboards poining to the places in the park.

you could see the wooden signboards poining to the places in the park.

There is a central road north of the southen gate where you will see plentiful people doing morning exercises, practicing Tai Chi and so on.
you will see plentiful people doing morning exercises

you will see plentiful people doing morning exercises

This is the mural on the ritual sacrifice to the Sun
This is the mural on the ritual sacrifice to the Sun

This is the mural on the ritual sacrifice to the Sun

Behind the mural or to the northeast of the mural is the circular mound altar. This is the north gate to the walled Sun Altar.
This is the north gate to the walled Sun Altar.

This is the north gate to the walled Sun Altar.

In a treed area to the east of the Sun Altar, the local Beijingers and foreigners as well do morning exercises, stretching their bodies…
the local Beijingers and foreigners as well do morning exercises, stretching their bodies

the local Beijingers and foreigners as well do morning exercises, stretching their bodies

An foreigner from a nearby embassy is also taking part in the local morning exercises.
Located in the east outside the north gate to the Sun Altar are the Divine Warehouse and Divine Kitchen within a square courtyard. There are three rooms used for Divine Warehouse facing west where memorial tablets of Ming Dynasty is placed while three rooms facing south used for Divine Kitchen where offerings are stored and processed.
the Divine Warehouse and Divine Kitchen within a square courtyards

the Divine Warehouse and Divine Kitchen within a square courtyards

To the west of the Divine Warehouse and Divine Kitchen is a garden with pretty wooden benches
To the west of the Divine Warehouse and Divine Kitchen is a garden with pretty wooden benches

To the west of the Divine Warehouse and Divine Kitchen is a garden with pretty wooden benches

Just slow down and recharge.
Just slow down and recharge.

Just slow down and recharge.

This building with red wall and glazed tiles is the famous restaurant known as Xiao Wang’s Home Restaurant that offers unique Chinese food.
Xiao Wang's Home Restaurant that offers unique Chinese food

Xiao Wang’s Home Restaurant that offers unique Chinese food

North of the Divine Warehouse and Divine Kitchen is a decent and clean toilet in the traditional style.
North of the Divine Warehouse and Divine Kitchen is a decent and clean toilet in the traditional style.

North of the Divine Warehouse and Divine Kitchen is a decent and clean toilet in the traditional style.

Outside the north gate to Ritan Park and most of the early risers are retired senior citizens.
Outside the north gate to Ritan Park and most of the early risers are retired senior citizens.

Outside the north gate to Ritan Park and most of the early risers are retired senior citizens.

An old man is practicing Chinese caligraphy by writing Chinese characters on the ground with a large brush using water instead of ink
An old man is practicing Chinese caligraphy by writing Chinese characters on the ground with a large brush using water instead of ink

An old man is practicing Chinese caligraphy by writing Chinese characters on the ground with a large brush using water instead of ink

Follow me and enter the park again through its north gate and to the southeast of the north gate is the Bell Tower that is still under reconstruction at the time of my writing.
the Bell Tower that is still under reconstruction at the time of my writing.

the Bell Tower that is still under reconstruction at the time of my writing.

The Dressing Hall is also under reconstruction at the time of my writing.
The Dressing Hall is also under reconstruction at the time of my writing.

The Dressing Hall is also under reconstruction at the time of my writing.

Playing badminton by the side of the Sun Altar Museum in the west of the park.
Playing badminton by the side of the Sun Altar Museum

Playing badminton by the side of the Sun Altar Museum

This is the Heavenly West Gate where the emperors in Ming and Qing dynasties entered and exited when they walked from the Heavenly West Gate along the sacred way to the Sun Altar for worshipping the god of the Sun.
he Heavenly West Gate where the emperors in Ming and Qing dynasties entered and exited

he Heavenly West Gate where the emperors in Ming and Qing dynasties entered and exited

This is the Sacred Way where the emperors walked to the Sun Altar.
This is the Sacred Way where the emperors walked to the Sun Altar.

This is the Sacred Way where the emperors walked to the Sun Altar.

On the west of the Heavenly West Gate people are dancing for morning exercises.
To the west of the Heavenly West Gate people are dancing for morning exercises

To the west of the Heavenly West Gate people are dancing for morning exercises

The sacred way between the Heavenly West Gate to the west gates of the Sun Altar is filled with people who are seeking “Happiness through exercising”.
The sacred way between the Heavenly West Gate to the west gates of the Sun Altar is filled with people who are seeking Happiness through exercising.

The sacred way between the Heavenly West Gate to the west gates of the Sun Altar is filled with people who are seeking Happiness through exercising.

Walking along the sacred way, you soon get to the west gates to the Sun Altar. So on its west, the Sun Altar has three Tianxing Gates.
the west gates to the Sun Altar

the west gates to the Sun Altar

Dancing to the music played from a music recorder
Dancing to the music played from a music recorder

Dancing to the music played from a music recorder

Never too old to play badminton
Never too old to play badminton

Never too old to play badminton

This is the Qinghui Pavilion on the rockeries, the high point in the park where you are able to have a good view of the surrounding buildings.
This is the Qinghui Pavilion, the high point in the park where you are able to have a good view of the surrounding

This is the Qinghui Pavilion, the high point in the park where you are able to have a good view of the surrounding

Standing inside the pavilion and looking at the buildings along the Chang’a Avenue
Below the pavilion is the waterscape in the park dotted with rockeries and lotuc leaves
Below the pavilion is the waterscape in the park dotted with rockeries and water ponds

Below the pavilion is the waterscape in the park dotted with rockeries and water ponds

The Stone Boat Cafe where you can enjoy a cup of tea or drink beer and watch the world going by
The Stone Boat Cafe where you can enjoy a cup of tea or drink beer and watch the world going by

The Stone Boat Cafe where you can enjoy a cup of tea or drink beer and watch the world going by

The pond is teemed with lotus leaves dotted with lotus flowers
The pond is filled with lotus leaves dotted with lotus flowers

The pond is filled with lotus leaves dotted with lotus flowers

Actually, we’ve made a loop walk back to the south gate to the park. The rows of trees are to the northeast of the south gate.
To the northeast of the South gate to the park is the Children’s plaground.
To the northeast of the South gate to the park is the Children's plaground.

To the northeast of the South gate to the park is the Children’s plaground.

Ballroom dance
Practice tai Chi

Practice tai Chi

Any questions, just drop a line.

Tags: , ,

Questions and Answers: