Located 80 kilometres to the north of Beijing, Longqing Gorge(Ancient City Reservoir) is known for its ice lantern festival held annually for more than 10 years during every spring festival. But tourists might not know that the gorge used to be a popular pilgrimage site for devotees to Buddha during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Court of Immortal (Shenxianyuan), located on the cliff 200 metres above the water, has now been renovated for tourists to view the gorge’s religious evolution. A temple built in 1639, the Court of Immortal used to draw thousands of men and women to attend its temple fair held on March 3 in the Chinese lunar calendar.
Originally a reservoir nestled among the Jundu Mountains in Yanqing County, the gorge opened to tourists in 1984. It was listed in 1986 as one of the New Sixteen Scenic Spots and Historical Sites in Beijing. With huge investment injected in 1998 after its restructuring under a shareholding company, the gorge had been able to develop more sightseeing sites to draw more tourists from home and abroad.