The Western Hills
běijīng xīshān) refers to the hills and mountains in the western
part of Beijing
extension of the Taihang mountain range from Hebei Province,
the Western Hills cover about 17% of Beijing
municipality including most of Mentougou and Fangshan Districts as
well as parts of Changping, Haidian, and
The Western Hills range in elevation from
100 m to over 1900 m above sea level and are visible from the city
on clear days. A mix of deciduous
forests and highland meadows
cover much of the Western Hills. Mountain streams feed into the
and Juma Rivers, which flow
through the Western Hills to irrigate the plains of Beijing.
is mined in Fangshan and Mentougou
Districts. The Western Hills are rich with natural and historical
points of interest. They are known for cliffs, caves, river gorges,
and hot springs, as well as temples, historic homes, secluded
retreats and ancient ruins.
An area renowned for its scenery (it is sometimes also known as the
Western Hills Scenic Area), the Western Hills have long been a
retreat for Chinese scholars, religious men, and members of the
government and civil service. Nearest to Beijing's Haidian District is the
Hills Park, most famous for its fall colors.
Botanical Garden and Temple of Azure Clouds.
The Wofo Temple
best known for its giant reclining Buddha
, is located on the grounds of the botanical gardens.
northwest of the Fragrant
Hills Park are Jiufeng (Vulture
Peak) Forest Park (鹫峰森林公园), Dajue
Temple, and Fenghuanling (Phoenix Ridge) Scenic
South of the Fragrant Hills Park is Badachu
(八大处; literally "eight great sites") in Shijingshan District, which
is known and named for eight Buddhist
temples and monasteries. The
Western Hills of Shijinghan are also home to the Laoshan Mountain Bike Course
where the mountain biking competition of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games
Man were discovered in the caves of Dragon Bone Hill
near Zhoukoudian in Fangshan District.
Western Hills also houses an underground command center of the
military, a secret bunker-like
underground facility built with the assistance of the USSR in the
1950s, and now serves a purpose similar to the United States Military's Pentagon.
extends all the way to the Western Hills, though the
last two stops are only used by the military, and are not open to
lived in the Western Hills
briefly, and the Politburo of the
Communist Party of China
retreated there briefly in 1989.
Western Hills Group
also had a secret group
named Western Hills, which was set up in 1925
when Sun Yat-sen
's coffin was kept
there; the group's members, who were Buddhist, believed that the
presence of Sun Yat-sen's body could bless them.
The group had a political goal of ousting the Communist Left,
headed by Mikhail Borodin