Taoranting Park or Joyous Pavilion Park, situated in the southern part of the city, derives its name from the pavilion that once stood on the grounds of the Temple of Mercy (cibeiyuan). Cibeiyuan is a temple that was built within the grounds of the park in the Yuan dynasty and is one of many historical sites. Excavations showed that this charming park dates as far back as the 3rd century BC.
Unlike other parks and gardens of the city which were reserved for the emperor and his family, the Taoranting Park was accessible to all. This explains why the park was a popular meeting place for poets and literary men during the Qing dynasty. Scholars from throughout China wrote poems and essays in praise of Taoranting. Unfortunately, this beauty did not last and by the early 20th century, the park had decayed into stagnant ponds and overgrown weeds.
In 1952, the park was completely redesigned - lakes were dredged, seven small hills formed and pavilions built. Today, the park is a romantic and peaceful area where visitors can enjoy pleasant walks and relaxing boat trips.