Jinan, located in the middle west of Shandong Province, is the capital of the province. Known as the City of Springs, Jinan is famous within China for its springs.
South China is known for spring rain and North China for the autumn wind. This old saying clearly expresses the people’s understanding of the differences between South and North China. However Jinan has left a different impression on the people because there are a large number of springs in Jinan, which adds intelligence and beauty to the city.
Springs in Jinan are quite different from those of the other cities which are mainly located in the suburbs and mountain forests. According to an ancient record, Jinan has 72 famous springs. But an on-the-spot investigation reveals that the old city area of Jinan alone has over 140 springs. Among them, Baotu Spring Group, Black Tiger Spring Group, Pearl Spring Group and Five-Dragon Pond Spring Group are the four major spring groups, where the springs are relatively concentrated.
Among all the springs in Jinan Baotu Spring takes the lead and is the symbol of the city. Located in the center of downtown Jinan, the Baotu Spring has a history of over 2,700 years. Baotu Spring is also called Spurting Spring, which vividly describes how spring water keeps jumping out. With three springheads, the spring spurts water all the year round, with a temperature of about 18 degrees centigrade. In cold winter, the spring is covered with a thin layer of mist. A wonderful fairyland is formed by limpid, deep and serene springs on one side, and beautifully shaped towers and pavilions with painted beams and pillars on the other side. On the northern bank of Baotu Spring stands a teahouse with bright windows and clean tables. Legend has it that emperor Kangxi and Qianlong of Qing Dynasty once sat at the teahouse to sip tea made with spring water while appreciating the fascinating spring. Hence the Emperor Qianlong named it “No.1 Spring Under Heaven”.
Daming Lake, also located in the center of the city, is a natural lake where water from the local springs converges. Daming Lake has a long history. 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. Daming Lake is one of the three major attractions of Jinan, together with Baotu Spring and Thousand Buddha Mountain.
The Daming Lake is famous for its unique scenery that “covered with lotus flowers on four sides and weeping willows on three sides, the lake takes half of the verdant city.” The lake consists of a lake, pavilions, gardens and towers. Historical buildings such Lixia Pavilion, Beiji Tower and Tiegong Temple have presented the traditional style. Lesser Canglang Pavilion, which stands by the lake, is surrounded by lotus ponds on three sides and faces a hill on one side, with lake water running into the courtyard. Standing at the pavilion, you can have a panoramic view of Daming Lake. If it is a fine day, you can see the reflection of the Thousand Buddha Mountain in the lake.
This is Jinan, a beautiful city moistened by spring water.