- Short History
- Full History
- How to get there
- Taking a Peaceful Stroll
Nanjing, the capital city of China’s Jiangsu Province, is a city steeped in history and culture. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the city’s history and natural beauty is to visit the lovely Bailuzhou Park (白鹭洲公园). Located near Laomendong and Fuzimiao, this park is a must-visit attraction for both tourists and locals. In this blog post, I will explore the history, highlights, and how to get to Bailuzhou Park in Nanjing.
Bailuzhou Park is located on an island in the Qinhuai River and has a rich history dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). During this time, the area was known for its lavish gardens and was a popular destination for imperial families. It was only in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that the island was opened to the public as a park. Today, the park is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Bailuzhou Park, also known as Egret Island Park, has a rich history dating back to the mid-Ming Dynasty. Originally known as Xu Taifu Park, it was located in the county’s new East Square North. Xu Da, an important minister of Ming Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang and the founding father of the country was posthumously awarded the title of King of Zhongshan. At the beginning of Hongwu, Zhu Yuanzhang gave Xu Da his old residence when he was the king of Wu. However, Xu Da was afraid not to accept it, so he built a new residence opposite and left and right each built a plaque, the name of the day “Dagong”. Yongle, Xu Da’s eldest daughter of Queen Renxiao located in the east of the Zhongshan Wangfu against the city wall of a piece of land “given to his family, for the vegetable garden”. Thus it was later known as Xu Taifu Garden or Xu Zhongshan Garden.
During the Chenghua years, Xu Tianzhi, the Duke of Wei Xu Fu’s loved son, inherited Xu Da’s Taifu Park from Xu Pengju, his eldest nephew. Xu Tianzhi carried out major construction, renamed it East Park, and then awarded it to his sixth son, Xu Jixun, who was also an official Jin Yiwei commander. From the Zhengde to the Wanli years, the garden was at its peak with over ten family gardens in Nanjing. After the Wanli period and the end of the Ming Dynasty, the Xu family began to decline, and the children and grandchildren either sold the gardens or demolished them
In the Qing Dynasty, most of Xu’s family gardens were destroyed or changed ownership. However, East Park still had gardeners of the Yuan surname who lived next to the bridge. The bridge later became known as Bailuzhou Water Street, and the park was renamed Egret Island Park after the abundance of egrets that would come to roost in the area
Today, Bailuzhou Park is a popular attraction in Nanjing, offering visitors beautiful scenery, cultural activities, and recreational opportunities
Bailuzhou Park is known for its natural beauty and cultural significance. The park features a range of attractions, including a monastery.
Washihoji Temple (三洲感应殿, 白鹭洲鹫峰寺)
One of the main highlights of the park is the Bailuzhou Monastery, which dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). This impressive structure features intricate carvings and colourful murals and is a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims.
Washihoji Temple, also known as Eagle Peak Temple, is a historically significant Buddhist temple located in the northeast corner of Bailuzhou Park in Nanjing. The temple was built in 1461 during the Ming Dynasty and is named in honour of the famous monk Vulture Peak of the Tang Dynasty. It is a cultural relic protection unit in Nanjing.
The temple has experienced ups and downs since the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Its fame does not lie in the favour of the emperor or the presence of earth-shattering figures but in its unique features, such as its proximity to the beautiful landscape garden and the cherished love of ordinary monks and ordinary people who have contributed to its restoration over the years.
In 1993, the temple underwent restoration, and the hall of the two entrances and three jakes was restored. A new hall has been built based on the original one, along with monastic rooms on both sides. The temple has been restored, and the incense is flourishing. The quaint and solemn Eagle Peak Temple with yellow walls looms among the pines and beautiful waters, adding beautiful scenery to Bailuzhou Park.
Washihoji Temple is a national Grade 5A tourist attraction and is famous for its beautiful landscape garden. Visitors can see the Gu Mao Tower, Daxiong Bao Hall, Nenbutsu Hall, and other famous attractions. The temple is open to visitors all year round, from Monday to Sunday, and admission is free.
Washihoji Temple is an excellent destination for visitors interested in history, architecture, and Buddhism.
What else to see in the Park:
In addition to the monastery, the park offers plenty of opportunities for nature lovers. The park is home to a variety of plants and trees, including rare species of cherry blossoms, making it an excellent destination for cherry blossom viewing in spring.
Aside from its tranquil atmosphere, Bailuzhou Park is also a part of the popular boat tour that starts at Fuzimiao. The park’s serene waters and picturesque scenery make it a must-see attraction for visitors. Additionally, there are hidden restaurants located close to the water that offer a unique dining experience.
If you are leaving the park via the north entrance, you can walk towards the city wall, where you will find locals selling birds on the weekends. This is a unique and fascinating experience, allowing you to observe the local culture up close.
Admission to this park is free: Enjoy Bailuzhou Park without your Nanjing Annual Card.
How to get there
Bailuzhou Park is located near Laomendong and Fuzimiao, making it easily accessible via public transportation. If you are coming from the city centre, take Metro Line 3 to Wudingmen (武定门). From there, it’s a short walk to the park. (Google location)
If you’re planning to visit Fuzimiao or Laomendong, I highly recommend adding Bailuzhou Park to your itinerary.
Taking a Peaceful Stroll
Inside the park
One of the highlights of Bailuzhou Park is the beautiful light show in the evening hours. As you walk through the park, you will be mesmerized by the enchanting lights that illuminate the trees, pathways and water features. This magical atmosphere is perfect for a romantic evening or a relaxing walk with friends or family.
Outside of the park
If you are looking for a quiet moment within Nanjing, I recommend leaving Bailuzhou Park via the North exit. From here you have to head West in the direction of the City Wall and during the weekend in the direction of the local bird market.
The walk along the canal to the north of the city wall is a peaceful and scenic route that offers a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. As you stroll along the path, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and the tranquil waters of the canal. This area is the perfect place for a quiet moment of reflection or to simply unwind.
The canal path also provides a unique perspective of Nanjing, allowing you to see the city from a different angle. You can admire the bridges that span the canal, and watch as locals go about their daily lives, fishing or dog walking along the water.
In the evenings, the canal path is illuminated with soft lighting, creating a magical ambience that’s perfect if you are looking for a romantic stroll or a peaceful solo walk. Whether you’re looking for a break from the crowds, a chance to enjoy city nature, or simply a quiet moment to clear your mind, the walk along the canal is a must-do in Nanjing.
In conclusion, Bailuzhou Park is a fantastic oasis in the heart of Nanjing, offering a fascinating glimpse into the city’s history and culture. Whether you’re interested in exploring the park’s natural beauty, visiting the monastery, or observing the local culture, there is something for everyone to enjoy. And with free entrance, there’s no excuse not to add this attraction to your Nanjing itinerary.
Let’s get in touch on Instagram, feel free to send me a direct message. I would love to hear about your experiences in Bailuzhou Park or Nanjing.
This post is also one of my new series about Nanjing. Go back to the post: Nanjing’s Top Instagram & TikTok Spots for Content Creators. (coming soon)
If you’re looking additionally for tips or information on ultra-wide-angle lenses for your photography or vlogging, I just published a guide to Ultra-Wide Angle Lenses for Sony APS-C. A UWA Lens will be very helpful in this narrow monastery 🙂