Beijing, China
5 November 2014

Located at the middle part of the Forbidden City, the Jingshan Park offers a spectacular view of the Beijing city from the Pavilion of Everlasting Spring (Wachun-ting) perched on top of the middle peak. It used to be the highest peak in Beijing reaching 43 meters high.

The artificial hill was constructed from the soil excavated to create the moot of the Imperial Palace during the Yongle Era of the Ming Dynasty and was later on turned into a park and was commonly referred to as the coal hill.

However, amid the picturesque scenery and tranquility that envelopes the park, Jingshan Park hides a dark past. It was at the foot of the Jingshan hill that the last emperor of Ming Dynasty, Emperor Chongzhen, committed suicide in 1644 at the height of the peasant uprising led by Li Zicheng.

As the story goes, he went to the coal hill together with his eunuch, Wang Cheng, when the group led by Li Zicheng broke into the city. But before the group catches them, they already hanged themselves on the tree.

Today a marker stands on the same spot where Emperor Chongzhen committed suicide.

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