Jinan, located in the middle west of Shandong Province, is the capital of the province. With over 140 springs in the old city area, Jinan is famous within China for its springs, enjoying the reputation of being the City of Springs. Along with the springs, the city also features other must-see attractions, including mountains, lakes and rivers.
Among all the springs in Jinan, Baotu Spring (Spurting Spring) takes the lead and is the symbol of the city. It was declared the “No.1 Spring under Heaven” by Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1644 -1911). Baotu Spring is an artesian karst spring fed by underground limestone water through three outlets, spurting water all year round. The volume of the water coming out of the spring can reach up to 240,000 cubic meters per day, and the water jetting out is said to reach as high as 26.49 meters (86.9 feet). The water temperature remains at a constant 18℃ (64.4℉) all year round.
Daming Lake, in the heart of the downtown area, is regarded as one of the must-see tourist spots in Jinan. It is a natural lake where water from the local springs converges, and it is said that the water level will not go up in the flood season and the lake will not dry up during a long-lasting drought. When summer arrives, lotuses bloom on the water and half of the Daming Lake Park is filled with their fragrant scent. Willows circle the lake on three sides and swing in the breeze. Together with Baotu Spring and Thousand Buddha Mountain, Daming Lake is one of the three major attractions of Jinan.
Thousand Buddha Mountain
The Thousand Buddha Mountain is the highest place to view Jinan’s scenery. It features Shun (a legendary ruler said to have ruled ancient China around 2,200 B.C) and Buddha culture. It was said that Emperor Shun once plowed here, so it was also called Shungeng Mountain (Shun-plowing Mountain). The Thousand Buddha Mountain is the largest Mountain Park in downtown area. Laying east to west, the mountain looks like a scenery screen of the city.
Located at the center of the downtown, the Quancheng Square is adjacent to Baotu Spring to the west and lean on city moat to the north. The Square is the “City Parlor” of Jinan and a complex with comprehensive functions of entertainment, leisure, and shopping. The Square is consisted of 11 parts, including the Spring Statue of Jinan, the Hall of Celebrities, the Lotus Music Fountain, and the Scientific and Cultural Center.
Located at the north side of Quancheng Road in Jinan, Furong Street was formed between the late Ming and early Qing Dynasty. The street used to have hundreds of shops and vendors of well-known old brands. Now famous for local snacks, it has become a relaxing and lively marketplace.
Black Tiger Spring
The Black Tiger Spring, situated on the southern bank along the city’s moat, is the second largest spring in Jinan based on water flow. The spring water rises from a cave and cascades from three stone animal heads, dropping from a height of 28 meters into a stone pool that is 13 meters long and 9 meters wide. Winds emit a terrifying roar as they blow through the cave where the water flows out; therefore, the spring got its name of Heihu, or Black Tiger. The water of the spring is so pure that you can see many local residents carry it home to drink.
City Moat Tour
The city moat, running around old Jinan downtown, is the only city moat in China fed by spring water. With its overall length of 6.9 kilometers, the moat links the four major springs: Baotu, Black Tiger, Peal and Five Dragon, and surrounded by a number of scenic spots, historical relics and cultural heritage sites. During the moat tour, you can enjoy much of the city’s picturesque natural scenery, including Daming Lake.
The Linyan Temple is located in Changqing District of Jinan and to the west of Mount Tai. Ranked the first among the Four Major Buddhist Temples of the Tang Dynasty, the temple is surrounded by mountains and springs. The 40 colored clay Buddhist statues in the Thousand Buddha Hall were made in the Song Dynasty. With different expressions that are true to life, they have been praised as the “Best Statues throughout the Country”.
Baimai Spring Park
Baimai Spring Park sits at the yard of Longquan Temple, Mingshui Town, about 50 kilometers west of Jinan. Covering an area of 25 hectares, the park was built in 1986 and consists of Moquan Spring, East Mawan Lake, Lotus Spring, Shuyu Spring and Qingzhao Temple Poetry Garden. The well of the Moquan Spring lies deep within the earth, giving the surface water an ink-like shade. The water of the Lotus Spring jets from five underground outlets, making the ripples on the surface look like blooming lotuses.
Located in Zhangqiu City, southeast of Jinan, Zhujiayu Village is known as the “No.1 Village in Shandong Province.” First built at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the village was originally called Chengjiaoyu and then changed its name as its residents were all surnamed Zhu. 600 years onwards, the place still preserves over 200 ancient buildings, 20 stone bridges, various ancestral halls and temples. In 2005, Zhujiayu was named one of the most famous “Historical and Cultural Villages” across the country.