As the main scenic site of Kaifeng, Henan, Dragon Pavilion Park totals more than 80 hectares, half of which is water area. The park consists primarily of two lakes - Family Pan Lake and Family Yang Lake. For some strange reason, the Family Pan Lake is muddy while the latter is clear, which people have likened to the characters of two officials who served during the Northern Song (AD 960-1127) Dynasty: Pan Renmei, a treacherous official; and Yang Jiye, an honest one. It is one of tourist destinations for student tour to China.
Over a thousand years ago, the area of the present-day Dragon Pavilion Park in Kaifeng, Henan Province, was the Office of the Border General of the Xuanwu Army of the Tang (AD 618-907) Dynasty. During the Later Liang (AD 907-923) Dynasty of the Five Dynasties (AD 907-960) period, the site was reconstructed into the imperial palace and named Jiangchang Palace. During the Later Jin (AD 936-946), Later Han (AD 947-950) and Later Zhou (AD 951-960) Dynasties, the site was still the imperial palace, but under a different name: Daning Palace. During the Northern Song (AD 960-1127) Dynasty, a forbidden imperial palace was built here, and thus the area became inaccessible and declined in importance.
During the later years of the Jin (AD 1115-1234) Dynasty, the area became a regular, open-access imperial palace again. During the Ming (AD 1368-1644) Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang's fifth son, Zhu Di, constructed his own house, called Prince Zhou's Mansion, in the vicinity, increasing the area's prime importance. However, due to flooding caused by the nearby Yellow River, the imperial palace, which in the meantime had become a repository for memorial tablets dedicated to former emperors – to which government officials were required to make regular visits – was no longer suitable as a repository for the memorial tablets, due to its low-lying locality, and therefore a new repository, Wanshou ("Longevity") Palace, was constructed to house the memorial tablets. This explains the peculiar form of Longevity Palace, i.e., a pavilion atop a 13-meter high, flood-proof stone structure. It was at about this same time that Longevity Palace began to be called Dragon Pavilion.
The architectural highlights of Dragon Pavilion Park include Wu ("Noon") Gate, Yudai ("Jade Belt") Bridge, the Chao ("Wise, Benevolent Spirit") Houses on either side of Imperial Road, Dragon Pavilion, Chaomen Gate, the ruins of the Northern Song Dynasty Imperial Palace, Monument Pavilion, North Gate, and East Gate. Dragon Pavilion is an immense hall built atop an imposing, 13-meter high, flood-proof stone structure that has a moderately-sloped, 72-step stone staircase leading up to the entrance. In the center of the hall stands a large dragon carving. The hall's ceiling is decorated with yellow glazed tiles, reinforcing the link to China's imperial past, as yellow was the favorite color of emperors. On either side of Dragon Pavilion are placed eight Chao Rooms, which, together with the palatial courtyard, form an impressive whole. The pavilion also houses a Waxwork Hall that exhibits vivid waxwork likenesses of prominent personages.
Scenic Spots for your private China tour.
Dragon Pavilion is a typical representative of the cultural and historical heritages of Kaifeng City. It is the main part of the constructions in Dragon Pavilion Park. In fact, Dragon Pavilion is a grand hall built on a 13-meter (43 feet) blue brick terrace with 72 steps.
This hall, a wooden structure built facing south, is 26.7 meters (88 feet) in height, covering 19.10 meters (63 feet) from east to west and 11.90 meters (39 feet) from south to north. It holds many rare cultural relics, and dragons playing with pearls are carved on the ceilings and walls. Dragon Pavilion is also a favorable place to overlook all the sceneries of Kaifeng City. In a word, travelers can have a visual feast here.
Lake of Family Pan and Lake of Family Yang
In front of the Dragon Pavilion is a straight road. On the east side of the road is the Lake of Family Pan, and on the west side is the Lake of Family Yang. Can you believe that Yang Lake is always clean and smooth while Pan Lake is dirty? There is an interesting story about this. Both the Pan and Yang families are renowned from the Song Dynasty. The Yang Family is famous for their loyalty, so the lake of their family is clear, while the Lake of the Pan Family is feculent due to their treachery.
To the west of Dragon Pavilion is the Waxwork Hall, which exhibits nine groups of vivid waxworks reflecting the important events under the rules of nine emperors of the Song Dynasty. All clothing of the historic characters, even the color and style of their hats and ribbons were carefully investigated and are historically accurate. What's more, the sculptors display superior skills. The skin, hair and expressions of the waxworks are so vivid that they look like real persons. This hall certainly deserves a China visit there.
The Botanical Garden (zhí wù yuán 植物园), which backs to Dragon Pavilion, is a masterpiece in such kind of gardens. Junipers, arborvitaes and other plants are tied into various vivid animal shapes, plane and train models, and models of many famous scenic spots in China, such as the Iron Pagoda in Kaifeng. Visitors will be impressed by the superb pruning techniques and wisdom of the gardeners. To its west is another garden featuring various kinds of bonsai.
Kaifeng Chrysanthemum Show
Beginning every October 18, Kaifeng celebrates the month-long Chrysanthemum festival (jú huā jiē 菊花节) at the Dragon Pavilion Park. At that time it becomes a carnival of flowers and the best place for visitors to spend the festive season. Though it can get little chilly, it is a beautiful time to soak in the atmosphere and join in the festivities and take at the gorgeous flowers.
Location: North Section of Zhongshan Road, Longting District, Kaifeng City
Transportation: Take Bus No. 1 at the railway station and get off at the Dragon Pavilion. Bus No. 20 can go to the Dragon Pavilion directly as well.
Opening Hours: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Admission Fee: CNY45
Tips: The famous Chrysanthemum Exhibition is held in Kaifeng every year from October to November. This exhibition has been held for twenty-three consecutive years. As the main venue for the exhibition, the Dragon Pavilion will become a sea of colorful chrysanthemums, and the city of Kaifeng looks its very best.
Come to visit here to add more color for your China tour packages.
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