Situated on Yuexiu Mountain, Yuexiu Park is the largest of its kind in downtown Guangzhou. Covering an expansive area, it is comprised seven hills that make up the mountain, and three artificial lakes. Yuexiu Park also has everything from a stadium and amusement park, to swimming pools and an open-air dance floor. An idyllic combination of beautiful scenery, cultural relics, and numerous activities for all ages, Yuexiu Park is an attraction that cannot be missed.
- Yuexiu Park covers 212.5 acres (860,000 square meters).
- The three artificial lakes, Dongxiu, Beixiu, and Nanxiu comprise 50,000 square meters (538,213 square feet) in total area.
- The lakes are connected with bridges, and designed in classic Lingnan architecture.
- Zhenhai Tower, one of the main points of interest at Yuexiu Park, was the tallest building in Guangzhou at the time of its construction in 1380.
- The tower now houses the Guangzhou Museum, which traces the city’s 2,000-year history.
History Of Yuexiu Park
Guangzhou (also known as Canton) has a history that can be traced over 2,000 years. It was always regarded as an important port in southern China, and was a major terminal for the Silk Road. Likewise, because of the city’s location, it was seen as a strategic military outpost.
Yuexiu Park sits on the grounds of what was once the northern part Guangzhou’s old walled city. Dating from the Ming Dynasty in the mid-14th century, remnants of the wall can found within the park. It is divided into three respective sections: the western, middle, and eastern sections. Originally known as Yuexiu Hill, or Mount Yuexiu, protective walls were constructed on the mountain, when Guangzhou underwent major reconstruction in 1380.
The Ming Dynasty City Wall served as a strategic military advantage in numerous battles over the centuries. For instance, it played a major role in the Battle of Canton in 1857, during the Second Opium War (1856 to 1860). Chinese forces sought refuge there, and fought off attacks from British and French troops.
During the reign of Zhu Yuanzhang (the Hongwu Emperor) founder of the Ming Dynasty, Zhenhai Tower was erected in 1380. Also known as the “Five-Storied Pagoda”, at 92 ft (25 m), it was the highest structure in Guangzhou when it was first built. Over the past 600 years, Zhenhai Tower was destroyed and rebuilt five times. In 1928, the tower was restored and renovated. It opened to the public as Guangzhou Municipal Museum in February 1929, and was one of the first museums in China. Between 1941 and 1945, the building was renamed the Municipal Library and Museum. In 1950, it was simply named Guangzhou Museum. In addition to the exhibition area that is Zhenhai Tower, it also houses the Guangzhou Art Gallery, Memorial of the March 29th Uprising Headquarters, and Memorial of the Anti-British Invasion of Sanyuanli People.
Culture Of Yuexiu Park
The Five-Rams Sculpture: Located in the heart of downtown Guangzhou, Yuexiu Park offers so many things for all ages. One of the many attractions at the park is the Five-Rams sculpture. It is one the most famous structures in all of Guangzhou, and has become a symbol of the city. According to legend, more than 2000 years ago, the city was a wasteland and its inhabitants suffered through famine. One day, five immortals rode into Guangzhou on five rams, each with sheaves of rice in its mouth. The immortals taught the inhabitants how to grow rice, blessed the city, and subsequently, the five rams turned to stone. The famine ended and Guangzhou became prosperous. Henceforth, the city was also known as “The City of Rams”.
Built in 1960, the sculpture contains over 130 granite pieces. The 11 m (36 ft) high structure is an emblem of the city, and inhabitants regard the rams as good luck symbols.
The Lakes: The three artificial lakes found in Yuexiu Park, provide a serene and beautiful setting. Nanxiu Lake and Dongxiu Lake provide quiet and tranquil spots for relaxation. Both are favourites of landscape photographers, and scenic artists. Surrounded by trees on all sides, Beixiu Lake not also offers incredible scenery, but is also open for fishing and boating. Flower exhibitions are also held in this section of Yuexiu Park, and it is truly an oasis for nature lovers, in the heart of an urban metropolis.
In addition to the numerous facilities at Yuexiu Park, there is also stadium that has a capacity of 35,000 people. Opened in October 1950, it occupies 43,000 sq m (462,848 sq ft). The stadium is used for both sporting events, and as a large concert venue. In 2010, the stadium served as a venue during the Asian Games.
Dating as far back as the Qin Dynasty (221 BCE to 206 BCE), it was a main attraction for the local inhabitants. The construction of Yuexiu Park was originally proposed by Sun Yat-sen during modern times.
- Spring is the best time to visit Yuexiu Park when the temperature is mild. Guangzhou Garden Fair is also held during the springtime.
- Yuexiu Park can be accessed through five major entrances: the Main Gate, North, South, East and West Gates. Several buses arrive at each gate, with a subway stop at the Main Gate.
- Located inside the park grounds, Yong Ya Shan Fang Restaurant is famous for a large variety of dishes, and provides a lovely garden area for dining.