Introduction & Guide to Beijing Grand View Garden
Located in Xuanwu District southwest of Beijing, the present Grand View Garden (or Daguanyuan Park, Garden) is a replica of the magnificent garden of an imperial family described in the well-known Chinese novel "A Dream of Red Mansions" by a Qing Dynasty writer Cao Xueqin (17l5-l763). The site used to be a park dotted with willows and pines. In l984, the China Television Film Production Centre decided to use it as the setting to shoot garden scenes for the TV series "A Dream of Red Mansions". The Xuanwu District Government then suggested that the temporary garden be turned into a permanent scenic spot. Thus the plan to build the Grand View Garden faithful to the writer's description has come into being.
The project started in June 1984 and completed in 1988. The Grand View Garden covers 110,000 square metres and includes more than 40 scenic spots illustrating the main plots in the garden. The stonework covers an area of more than 8,000 square metres and the lakes and canals 24,000 sq.m. The construction work is divided into three stages, of which the first stage in the southern part of the garden cost about 4 million yuan (about l.4 million US dollars) and was opened to the public in early 1985 . It includes a front gate, four courtyards, Qinfang Bridge, Dicui Pavilion, winding paths and other scenic sites. Every effort has been made to be accurate in reproduction of Daguanyuan. Horticulturists, architects, archaeologists and experts on the history of the famous novel were asked to pay much attention to the layout of the whole garden, the location of trees, the arrangement of the rockery, and the decoration of the main characters' homes.
Yihongyuan (Happy Red Court), located west of Qinfang Bridge, used to be the residence of Jia Baoyu, hero of the novel.
Xiaoxiangguan (Bamboo Lodge), a small and simple courtyard decorated in light-green, with slim bamboos grown in the courtyard, housed the weak and unlucky Lin Daiyu, heroine of the novel.
Jia Baoyu's sister-in-law, widow Li Wan lived in an eastern courtyard called Daoxiangcun (Paddy-Sweet Cottage).
Two stone lions, carved by the veteran artisans from Quyang County in Hebei Province, stand as guards at the front and the gate is flanked by sloping walls. Inside the garden more than 2,000 flowers and trees have been planted, 500 square metres of lawn laid out and hundreds of potted plants arranged.
The famous Taihu Lake stones have been used here to pile the rockery in different artistic postures.