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cluding elephants and Buddhas, and, at the centre of the central spire, a pair of feet. The new
halls behind the museum are home to statues of bulbous-eyed camels, docile-looking tigers,
puppy-dog lions and the like, all collected from the spirit ways of tombs and long-destroyed
temples. Outside is a line of seventeenth-century tombstones of Jesuit priests made in tradi-
tional Chinese style, with turtle-like dragons at the base and text in Chinese and Latin.
Zizhuyan Park
紫竹院公园 , zǐzhúyuàn gōngyuán • Best accessed via east gate on Zhongguancun Nandajie • Daily 6am-8pm •
Free • National Library subway (lines 4 & 9)
Centred on a huge lake, pretty ZizhuyanPark is worth popping into if you're visiting either
of the two nearby temples, Wuta or Wanshou. Paths lead though gorgeous groves of bamboo,
some bisecting the lake itself, while others merely skirt the waters. Note that it's possible to
board ferries from here to the Summer Palace .
Wanshou Temple
万寿寺 , wànshòu sÏ • Guangyuanjia Lu • Daily 9am-4pm • 20; free to first 300 visitors on Wed • National
Library (lines 4 & 9) or Weigongcun subway (line 4), then taxi
Dating from the Ming era and a favourite of the Dowager Empress Cixi , Wanshou Temple
is the last survivor of the several dozen that once lined the canalsides all the way up to the
Summer Palace. It's now a small museum ofancient art , with five exhibition halls of Ming
and Qing relics, mostly ceramics. There's nothing spectacular on view but it's worth a look
if you are in the area. If you want to meet some locals, head for the “English corner” where
students go to practise speaking English.
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