Today, it is one of the largest and most important parks of the capital, but the 70.000 square metres of Beihai Park and its splendid artificial lake were once part of the Forbidden City, thus only used by the Emperor and his court. Built, starting in 1179, by a member of the Jin Dynasty, this green treasure was only open to the public for the first time in 1925. The park’s Northern Lake, artificially created, covers more than half of the surface-area of the park. At its centre is the Island of Qióng-huá, the peak of which rises 32 metres above the surface of the lake. Atop this is a large white stupa, 40 metres high. This dazzling white monument is decorated with engravings that represent the Sun, the Moon and Flames and guards the relics of important monks. Other jewels of the park include the Five Dragon Pavilion, built under the Ming Dynasty with spires and pointed gutters which, from a distance, seem like an enormous dragon and, above all, the Nine Dragon Wall. Built in the middle of the XVIII Century, the splendid wall is decorated on both sides with nine enormous dragons which seem to flutter in the clouds, created with 424 shiny tiles in seven different colours of the most remarkable artistry. In all of China, there are only three monuments of this type.