Objective The West Mountain of Beijing is featured by superior geographical location, abundant natural and cultural resources, and numerous temples, traditional villages, royal gardens and other historical sites, which endow the West Mountain area with profound cultural heritage and the cultural landscape therein with high research value. As a historic tourist attraction in Beijing, the West Mountain with beautiful scenery ever stimulated the creative inspiration of many literati in history, thus leaving a large number of poems to later generations. In China, poetry as a unique form of historical material for geographical landscape research, initially appeared in the field of human geography. Later, with more and more attention being paid by the academic community to the historical urban landscape pattern, many scholars began to dig deeply into the landscape elements and geographic information contained in historical literature works. Specifically, scholars have analyzed the landscape characteristics of different regions through poems, and many researches have extracted spatial-temporal dimension information based on poems and made literary maps to discuss landscape distribution. The analysis of poetry thus becomes a new perspective to explore urban landscape space. This research aims to fully tap the value of the cultural landscape heritage in the West Mountain, enlarge the landscape characteristics of the West Mountain area, and solve the bottleneck problem of sustainable landscape development in the West Mountain, so as to better protect and inherit the cultural landscape heritage in the West Mountain, and recover the original style of landscape in the West Mountain.
Methods This research extracts from the monographs of Beijing Ancient Books Series a total of 1,639 poems spanning the period from Tang Dynasty to modern times that are related to the West Mountain of Beijing. On this basis, 260 cultural landscapes in the West Mountain area are summarized, and ancillary information related to the aforesaid poems such as location, date and author is sorted out. After literature research, this research combines the text mining and spatial analysis methods to analyze the spatial-temporal distribution and text image of landscape in the West Mountain. Moreover, the research discusses the landscape distribution and landscape perception of the West Mountain in combination with relevant poems, and summarizes the historical landscape pattern characteristics of the West Mountain.
Results The research results are as follows. Firstly, the landscapes in the West Mountain are clustered with “Three Mountains and Five Gardens” as the core, and are as a whole distributed linearly along the ancient roads. The influence of landscape is positively related to the creation of poetry, and the level of landscape construction is significantly high in areas with profound literary accumulation. During the evolution of landscape pattern in Ming and Qing dynasties, the density of landscape was strengthened, the diversity of cultural landscape was remarkable, and the value of cultural landscape heritage groups in the West Mountain was consolidated. Secondly, “West Mountain” is not only a geographical term, but also a cultural image, which is a collection of all cultural landscape heritage values in the West Mountain area. As a witness of civilization development in the West Mountain area, the Yongding River is a hot topic in the memoir poems related to the West Mountain. Based on the original landscape pattern of the West Mountain, plants and architectural landscapes further refine the characteristics of landscape in the West Mountain. The plants are of both ornamental value and beautiful meaning, laying the emotional tone of landscape in the West Mountain; different types of buildings are the embodiment of the military defense, traffic fortress, religion and culture functions of the West Mountain. Finally, ancient roads play a landscape connection role and integrate into the whole landscape pattern of the West Mountain, making the landscape in the West Mountain more become appreciable and accessible, and promoting the spread of cultural phenomena. In the network of the West Beijing Ancient Roads, the cultural landscapes in the West Mountain that are mainly distributed along the north-south long axis and the western short axis. present a typical pattern of clustered distribution, forming a cluster area with three mountains and five gardens as the core in space. The longitudinal arrangement and westward extension of the mountain landscape determine the basic structure of the landscape in the West Mountain, the waterscape extending from north to south strengthens the axis structure of the cultural landscape in the West Mountain, and the concentrated construction of architectural landscape consolidates the central position of the three mountains and five gardens in the cultural landscape pattern of the West Mountain.
Conclusion Based on the in-depth analysis of relevant poems, the research finds that the West Mountain area of Beijing shows the integration of mountains, water, plants and buildings, which jointly form a landscape pattern of mountains surrounded by water and lush gardens. Under this cultural landscape pattern, constructing landscape tour lines and historical and cultural protection areas from such aspects as spatial elements and spatial-temporal dimension following the traces of the cultural landscape in the West Mountain with three mountains and five gardens as the core, and linking landscape heritage and cultural phenomena in various areas through special lines can promote regional cultural tourism and economic development, and maximizing the benefits of protection and development of cultural landscape heritage across the board.