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Longting (Dragon Pavilion)

 

As a famous scenic spot in the northern part of Kaifeng, the Dragon Pavilion actually is not a pavilion but a great hall built on a huge gray brick base of 13 meters in height. The park, centered with the Dragon Pavilion, is the largest sightseeing zone in Kaifeng City, with an area of more than 80 hectares, over half of which is covered with beautiful lakes and rivers. It is such a famous tourist resort, both at home and abroad, that almost all the tourists to Kaifeng will list it in their itineraries.

As early as the Song and Jin periods, there was the palace where the emperors lived and worked. The principle part of the Longting complex is the well-known Longting Main Hall, built in 1734 during the reign of Yong Zheng in the Qing Dynasty.

The original name was Wanshou Palace (Palace of Longevity).. It has a splendid stone foundation which is about thirteen meters high with seventy-two stairs leading to the top. The Longting Main Hall is nine rooms wide in the front and twenty-six meters high decorated with yellowish-green glazed tiles, delicate sculptures and beautiful pictures. The double-eaved roofs warp upwards, giving the entire structure a look of elegance. Inside the Main Hall lies a huge black stone block called Dragon Stone around which thirteen rolling dragons have been skillfully and precisely engraved. Tradition has it that it is the place where ancient people received the imperial edict and where people enshrine the former emperors’ memorial tablets. Now, in the Main Hall, the wax figures of Zhao Kuangyin, the first emperor of the Song Dynasty along with his high officials and ministers are displayed. On each side outside the Wuzao Gate, stands a large stone lion, created in the Ming Dynasty full of power and grandeur.

The present Dragon Pavilion is reminiscent of the pattern and style of construction of the Longevity Palace of the Qing Dynasty, which consists of the Wumen Gate, Yudai Bridge, Chaomen Gate, Dragon Pavilion, relics of the imperial arch and the east and north gates, and the Stele Pavilion; in addition to the Yangs’ Lake and Pans’ Lake, Spring Garden, Miniature Garden, Botanical shaping Garden, corridors and pavilions. The Great Hall of The Dragon Pavilion sits towards the south on a thirteen-meter high terrace, along with eight wing rooms on each side, forming a complex construction of halls. It also comprises the first waxwork museum in China with 63 figures, vividly sculpted. Along the imperial road are the Yangs’ Lake to the west and the Pans’ Lake to the east. The former named in honor of the well-known general from the Northern Song Dynasty Yang Jiye. The yang lake is always clean, while the latter named lake named for the notorious Pen Renmei, the old cunning minister, is always muddy. In short, the park is combination of the magnificence of the northern palaces; as well as the elegance of the southern gardens.

The Dragon Pavilion was once a part of the imperial palace of the Northern Song Dynasty, built on the site of a waste coal hill in the back garden of the former “Prince Zhou’s Mansion”. In the 16th year (1659) of the Emperor Shunzhi Period of the Qing Dyansty, the imperial memorial hall was established; in the 31st year (1692) of the Emperor Kangxi Period, a memorial tablet of the emperor was placed in the newly built pavilion on the coal hill for both the provincial officials to greet and pay their respect on important occasions. Since emperors in ancient China were regarded as the incarnation of real dragons, the pavilion was titled as the Dragon Pavilion, and was the main building in the Longevity Palace. With fine carved fences and dragon patterns around, the Great Hall of the Dragon Pavilion is reached by a set of 50 steps, with the imperial walkway in the center, which was carved with a majestic dragon. In the center of the main hall, there was a stone dais decorated with dragon patterns, which was said to be the imperial chair of Zhao Kuangyin, the founder of the Song Dynasty. Actually, it was where the memorial tablets of the emperors were placed.

In the west wing under the steps of the main hall is the first waxworks museum in China, with an exhibition area of 410㎡. These nine groups of waxworks represent the great events in politics, economy, foreign affairs, and science and technology of the Song Dynasty. For that purpose, all the wax figures were made lifelike especially in their color, hair, eye and facial expressions; as well as their clothing.

During the renovation of those relics, the beatification of the park had been given much attention, thus lots of gardens and pavilions were built. The leading gardens are the Fangsen miniature Garden, the plum garden, and the Tongchun orchard, in which grow peach, cherry, Chinese redbud, pomegranate, cinnamon, winter sweet blossom, and many other blooming trees. Wandering in such a beautiful place, you will be relaxed by the singing birds and fragrant flowers.

Location: The north section of the Imperial Street of the Northern Song Dynasty and the

In the west wing under the steps of the main hall is the first waxworks museum in China, with an exhibition area of 410㎡. These nine groups of waxworks represent the great events in politics, economy, foreign affairs, and science and technology of the Song Dynasty. For that purpose, all the wax figures were made lifelike especially in their color, hair, eye and facial expressions; as well as their clothing.

During the renovation of those relics, the beatification of the park had been given much attention, thus lots of gardens and pavilions were built. The leading gardens are the Fangsen miniature Garden, the plum garden, and the Tongchun orchard, in which grow peach, cherry, Chinese redbud, pomegranate, cinnamon, winter sweet blossom, and many other blooming trees. Wandering in such a beautiful place, you will be relaxed by the singing birds and fragrant flowers.

Dragon Pavilion Park is the main venue of the famous Kaifeng Chrysanthemum Show held in October of each year. At that time it becomes a carnival of flowers and the best place for visitors to spend the festive season.

Admission Fee: CNY 35
Recommended Time for a Visit: One hour
Bus Route: 15, 20...


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