- Take a boat trip on the lake.
Overview – Daming Lake
Daming Lake (lit.: ‘Lake of the Great Splendour’) is the largest lake in the city of Jinan, Shandong, China, and one of the city’s main natural and cultural landmarks. Located to the north of the historical city center, the lake is fed by the artesian karst springs of the area and hence retains a fairly constant water level throughout the entire year.
As a central site in the historical center of Jinan, Daming Lake has been the setting of many events in the history of the city: As his rebellion against the Mongol ruler Kublai Khan came to an end in 1262, the governor Li Tan tried to drown himself in the lake. He was rescued by the Mongols in order to be executed by being put in a sack and trampled to death by horses.
The warlord Zhang Zongchang, nicknamed the “Dogmeat General” and unpopular because of his heavy-handed rule, planned to erect a living shrine to himself on the lake, but the plans were not executed due to Zhang’s fall from power. During the Battle of Jinan in the Chinese Civil War, the commander of the city’s defense against the communist People’s Liberation Army, Kuomintang General Wang Yaowu had his command post near the lakeshore.
The lake is surrounded by a park with an ensemble of historical buildings, some of which stand on the islands in the lake:
The Lixia Pavilion is located on an island off the lake’s east shore. The pavilion is said to mark the spot of a meeting between the Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu and the calligrapher Li Yong (678-747). The pavilion was rebuilt in 1693 and features inscriptions by the Qing-Dynasty calligrapher He Shaoji and the Kangxi Emperor.
Lake Center Pavilion
The Lake Center Pavilion is set on an island near the lake’s center.
Moon lit Pavilion
The Moon-lit Pavilion (Clit.: ‘Pavilion under the Moon’) is located on the north-eastern shore of the lake. It is connected to a large hall via a bridge. Military governor Han Fuju had an emergency escape tunnel constructed that connected the basement of this hall to the outer city. The tunnel was used by Kuomintang general Wang Yaowu to escape from the city at the end of the Battle of Jinan.
The Jiuqu Pavilion (lit.: ‘Nine Bend Pavilion’) is located on the southwest shore of the Lake.
Ancestral Hall of Lord Iron
The Ancestral Hall of Lord Tie is located on the northwest shore of the Lake. It is a memorial to Tie Xuan, a Ming-Dynasty official during the reign of the Jianwen Emperor. Tie Xuan was renowned for his heroism and loyalty in the defense of the city against the rebelling Prince Zhu Di, the later Yongle Emperor. The memorial hall was erected during the times of the Qing Dynasty.
North Pole Temple
Beiji Temple (lit.: ‘North Pole Temple’) is a Taoist temple dedicated to Xuan Wu, the god of the North. It was first built in the early Yuan Dynasty, but rebuilt during the reign of the Yongle Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Numerous renovations were carried out during the Qing Dynasty. The temple contains several halls as well as a bell and a drum tower. It stands on a seven-meter tall base and covers an area of 1078 square meters.
The Huibo Building (lit.: ‘Joining of the Waves Building’) is located near the east gate of Daming Lake Park. It stands on the site of the watergate that controls the outflow of the Daming Lake into the Xiaoqing River.
Nanfeng Ancestral Hall
The Nanfeng Ancestral Hall is a memorial to the Song-Dynasty scholar Zeng Gong. The present structure has been rebuilt in 1829.
Jiaxuan Ancestral Hall
The Jiaxuan Ancestral Hall commemorates Xin Qiji, a military leader and statesman of the Southern Song dynasty who was born in Jinan. The temple buildings cover a total area of 1400 square meters. Converted to other uses during the Republic of China, the temple was restored to its present function in 1961.
Oushen’s Temple is a memorial temple that was originally dedicated to the Goddess of the Lotus Root. During the Qing Dynasty it was rededicated to the memory of Li Qingzhao
Daming Lake Nanfeng Theater
The Daming Lake Nanfeng Theater is located in the courtyard of the Nanfeng Ancestral Hall and was constructed during the late Qing Dynasty.