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Jinan -- City of Springs
Jinan, capital of Shandong Province, is located on a plain bordering on hilly country at the lower reaches of the Yellow River (Huanghe). The Beijing-Shanghai and Qingdao-Jinan railways meet here.

Apart from it s beautiful scenery and mild climate, Jinan is known as the "City of Springs." There are at least seventy-two famous springs here-according to an ancient description of the city, "springs and willows are found in every courtyard."

Daming Lake

The most scenic spot in Jinan is Daming Lake. Covering 46.5 hectares and fed by springs, the lake has been famous for over a thousand years. An ancient poet sang the praises of the lake in these words: "Lotus flowers on four sides and willow trees on three-surrounded by mountains, a lake in a city."

There are many towers, halls, pavilions, and corridors along the lakeside. The North Pole Pavilion (Beijige) built in the Yuan Dynasty offers visitors a panoramic view of the lake. Other buildings worth a visit are Lixia Pavilion, Tiegong Temple, Little Surging Wave Garden (Xiaocenglang), and the memorial hall of the famous Song Dynasty poet XinQiji (A.D. 1140-1207).

Spurting Spring (Baotuquan)

On Baotuquan Road in the heart of the city, beautiful Baotuquan Park was built around the famous spring known as the "first spring under heaven." The architecture in the park is reminiscent of southern China; the gardens have gravel paths, pavilions, winding corridors, and archways shaped with willows.

Baotu Spring spurts with a thousands sound from three holes in the underground rocks at a volume of 1,600 liters per second. Tea brewed from the spring water is serve at the Watch Crane Pavilion (Wanghelou) Teahouse beside the spring, where you can enjoy the tea and the scenery at eh same time.

Pearl Spring (Zhenzhuquan)

Located on the north side of Quancheng Road, this spring got its name because its water jets from underground like strings of pearls. Pearl Spring joins ten other springs nearby including Zhuoying Spring, Wangfu Spring, and Xiting Spring, to form a group of springs whose water converges in Daming Lake.

Black Tiger Spring (Heihuquan)

This spring is on the east side of Heihuquan Road. Water gushes from a rock, sending out roaring waves. The spring and fourteen other nearby springs including Piba Spring, Gold Tiger (Jinhu) Spring, Converging Waves (Huibo) Spring, Xizhong Spring, Agate (Manao) Spring and Nine Maids (Jiun\) Spring, converges into a river let.

Five Dragon Pool (Wulongtan)

Located outside the west gate of old Jinan city, this pool gathers spring water from five locations. The place is said to have been the residence of the once well-known Tang Dynasty general Qin Qiong (A.D. ?-638). There are twenty-one other springs nearby including Ancient Hot (Guwen) Spring, Crescent (Yueya) Spring, and Liquan Spring, which flow through the west city moat northwards to empty into the Xiaoqing River.

Thousand  Buddha Hill (Qianfoshan)

Some 2.5 kilometers west of Jinan, Thousand-Buddha Hill is considered the "number one hill of Jinan."

In ancient times, the hill was named Lishan. A legend has it that Shun, an ancient Chinese ruler, used to farm here, and so it was also called Shungeng Hill (the hill where Shun farmed). The present name was adopted during the reign of Emperor Kai Huang (A.D. 581-600) of the Sui Dynasty, when many Buddha figures were carved on the rocks.

Passing the gate of the hill along the stone steps, visitors can see a group of magnificent buildings, including Prosperous Country (Xingguo) Temple, Dragon Spring (Longquan) Cave and Pavilion for a Panoramic View (Yilanting). From this pavilion, visitors get a sweeping view of Jinan below, where Daming Lake lies like a mirror and the Yellow River zigzags afar like a jade ribbon.

Li Qingzhao Memorial Hall

Li Qingzhao (1084-1151), the famous woman poet of the Song Dynasty, was born in Jinan. She was calligrapher and painter as well as a poet. Her memorial hall, to the north of Shuyu Spring in Baotu Spring Park, was built in 1956 and renovated in 1980. On display in the hall are Li Qingzhao's portrait and brief accounts of her life and works.

Other scenic spots in Jinan are Yellow Cliff (Huangshiya), Four-Gate Pagoda (Simenta), and Magic Cliff Temple (Lingyasi).


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