The French Municipal Council built Hengshan Park in August 1925. During construction, they took 5000 tonnes of mud from XuJiaHui River. They used the mud to fill out the low-lying channel to the north of the park. Afterwards, they built a pavilion on top and planted many arbour trees. In May 1926 they opened the park to foreign visitors only, like many other parks in Shanghai at the time. It had the name Beidang Park until October 1943 when they renamed it to Hengshan Park.
Hengshan Park Layout
Over the years the landscaping hasn’t changed much. Hengshan Park has a size 10,855 square meters. 3 camphor trees over 150 years old are preserved inside. Two are on the west side of the park with a bench beneath each. The third is on the far eastern corner. Arbor trees, bushes and flowers complete the scenery in this small park. Like many other parks in China, there are exercise machines on the north side.
Shen Jun Ru
In the centre of the park is a statue of Shen Jun Ru. In 1936, the Chiang Kai-shek government arrested Shen and 6 others. This caused a national crisis known as the Seven Gentleman Incident. It wasn’t until after the Japanese invasion in the Summer of 1937 that they were released. Later in 1949 Shen would attend the first Chinese People’s Consultative Conference (CPCC). Here, he would be appointed as the first President of the Supreme People’s Court. He held this position until 1954. Shen would also hold several other important positions in his later life. He died in 1963.
This park lies hidden away on Hengshan road, near Guanyuan road, in Shanghai. It is one of the many small places in Shanghai that you could walk past and never even know it was there.