Beijing

Beijing
1. Being capital of the People Republic of China, it is the nation political, economic, cultural, educational and international trade and communication center. Located in northern China, close to the port city of Tianjin and partially surrounded by Hebei Province, it also serves as the most important transportation hub and port of entry.As one of the six ancient cities in China, it has been the heart and soul of politics and society throughout its long history and consequently there is an unparalleled wealth of discovery to delight and intrigue travelers as they explore the city ancient past and exciting modern development. Now it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with about 140 million Chinese tourists and 4.4 million international visitors in a year.
Know more about Beijing Facts.The city is marked by its flatness and arid climate. There are only three hills to be found in the city limits (in Jingshan Park to the north of Forbidden City) and mountains surround the capital on three sides. Like the configuration of the Forbidden City, Beijing has concentric ring roads, which are actually rectangular, that go around the metropolis and serve as good reference points as one attempts to move about the city. Beyond the ring roads are the most visited portions of the Great Wall of China, which witnesses visitors the world over and Beijing serves as a good headquarters for those who wish to gaze upon one of mankind more memorable and lasting structures. .....
Forbidden City
2. Lying at the city center and called Gu Gong in Chinese, it was the imperial palace for twenty four emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was first built throughout 14 years during the reign of Emperor Chengzu in the Ming Dynasty (1368 1644). Ancient Chinese Astronomers believed that the Purple Star (Polaris) was in the center of heaven and the Heavenly Emperor lived in the Purple Palace. The Palace for the emperor on earth was so called the Purple City. It was forbidden to enter without special permission of the empeor. Hence its name The Purple Forbidden City, usually The Forbidden City.Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a 52 meter wide moat and a 10 meter high wall are more than 8,700 rooms. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Divine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 meters, while the distance between the east and west gates is 750 meters. There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside. .....
Tiananmen Square
3. Located at the center of Beijing City is Tiananmen Square, where you can visit Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and see the national flag raising ceremony. Thousands of people come to the Square every day. It is the must place to visit in Beijing City.West of the Square is the Great Hall of the People. This building, erected in 1959, is the site of the China National People Congress meetings and provides an impressive site for other political and diplomatic activities.Twelve marble posts are infront of the Hall which has three parts the Central Hall, the Great Auditorium and a Banqueting Hall.The floor of the Central Hall is paved with marble and crystal lamps hang from the ceiling. The Great Auditorium behind the Central Hall seats 10,000. The Banqueting Hall is a huge hall with 5,000 seats.Another important place for the tourist to visit is the China National Museum at the east side of the Square. It just came into existence in 2003 and is a combination of Chinese History Museum and Chinese Revolutionary Museum.

This National Museum faces the Great Hall of the People. Inside the Chinese Revolutionary Museum are a lot of material objects, pictures, books and models to present the development of modern China. The Chinese History Museum shows a large number of cultural relics illustrating the long history and glorious culture of China from 1,700,000 years ago to 1921 when the last emperor left the throne.Five Star Red Flag the Chinese national flag, flies high in the sky above the Square. To see the guard of honor raise the Flag is a must for the tourist visiting Beijing City. You have to get up very early and arrive at the Square before sunrise. Only by doing so can you see the ceremony clearly as there are crowds of people attending the ceremony every day. The reviewing stands flanking Tiananmen Tower on the west and east sides were opened up free on the first day of 2012 to the public to watch the flag rising ceremony. It is now available to group reservations for the opening day on the first day of each month. .....

Great Wall of China
4. The Great Wall, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500 miles) from east to west of China. With a history of more than 2000 years, some of the sections are now in ruins or have disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions all around the world owing to its architectural grandeur and historical significance.The mystery of the construction of the wall is amazing. The construction, which drew heavily on the local resources for construction materials, was carried out in line with the local conditions under the management of contract and responsibility system.
A great army of manpower, composed of soldiers, prisoners and local people, built the wall. The construction result demonstrates the wisdom and tenacity of the Chinese people.Great Wall carries a considerable part of Chinese culture. It has long been incorporated into Chinese mythology and symbolism. The most well known legend is about the collapse of a section of the Wall caused by Meng Jiangnu, who cried bitterly over the death of her husband after he died while building the wall. This legend has been spread widely through textbooks, folk songs and traditional operas. .....
Temple of Heaven
5. The Temple of Heaven is located in southern Beijing?It was first constructed in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of Ming emperor Yongle?and was extended and renovated during the reigns of Ming emperor Jiajing and Qing emperor Qianlong?It was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship the god of heaven and pray for good harvest. Covering an area of 273 hectares?it is the largest architectural complex in the world for rituals to pay homage to heave.The Temple is divided by two encircling walls into an inner part and outer part. The main buildings lie at the south and north ends of the middle axis of the inner part. The most magnificent buildings are the Circular Mound Altar (Huanqiutan), the Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest (Qiniandian) from south to north.Located in the southern part of the Temple of Heaven, The Circular Altar Mound is actually the Temple of Heaven in the practical sense. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the emperors would offer sacrifice here to Heaven on the day of the Winter Solstice every year. Its famous buildings include the Lingxing Gates, the Lantern Viewing Pole, the Terrace of Worshipping Heaven, the Heaven Heart Stone, the Firewood Stove and the Divine Kitchen Courtyard. .....
Summer Palace
6. Situated in the Haidian District northwest of Beijing City, the Summer Palace is 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from central Beijing. Being the largest and most well preserved royal park in China, it greatly influences Chinese horticulture and landscape with its famous natural views and cultural interests, which also has long since been recognized as The Museum of Royal Gardens.The construction started in 1750 as a luxurious royal garden for royal families to rest and entertain. It later became the main residence of royal members in the end of the Qing Dynasty. However, like most of the gardens of Beijing, it could not elude the rampages of the Anglo French Allied Force and was destroyed by fire. According to historical documents, with original name as Qingyi Garden (Garden of Clear Ripples), the Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) was renamed after its first reconstruction in 1888.This is the most magnificent area with the most constructions. It is symmetrically laid out in east and west many delicate buildings and graceful gardens with the south facing Tower of Buddhist Incense as the central axis. Walking up to the hilltop, on which lots of important buildings are positioned, including Hall of Dispelling Clouds, Hall of Moral Glory, Baoyun Bronze Pavilion, Revolving Archives, Hall of the Sea of Wisdom, etc. .....
Beihai Park
7. Beihai Park (beihai gongyuan) is in the west of forbidden city. The original design for the park originates from an ancient tale. Chinese legend has it that there were three islands across the eastern seas where fairies and immortals lived.A walk around the various scenic spots in Beihai can be pleasant. There are various places to take in along the way including Jade Islet Isle, the Jade Jar of Dushan, the Painted gallery, the Nine Dragon Screen, the Liulige Tower, Yongan Temple, the Five Dragon Pavilion.Beihai Park, one of the oldest and best preserved imperial gardens, is located in the center of Beijing, and is very close to the famous Forbidden City. Beihai Park boasts a history dating back more than a millenium and existed throughout the dynasties of Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing. It was first opened to the public as a park in 1925.Beihai Park covers an area of more than 68 hectares, more than half of which is covered by its lake.

It is composed of Beihai Lake and Qionghua Island, and the White Dagoba was built on the top of Qionghua Island, the principle landmark of Beihai Park. In addition, Beihai Park is considered an ancient Chinese art form, with different features, such as artificial hills, bridges, pavilions, halls, temples and lakes.An ancient legend concerning Beihai Park states that there were three magic mountains called Penglai, Yingzhou and Fangzhang in the east of Bohai Bay, and that supernatural beings resided in those mountains and possessed a kind of medicine that would help human beings attain immortality.

As a result, many emperors attempted to locate the three magic mountains alas, without success. Qinshihuang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty also failed to find out the magic mountains, so he asked his soldiers to dig a large pool and piled up three hills in the pool, thus imitating the description of the magic mountains in the legend. From then on, almost every emperor during the succeeding dynasties would build a royal garden with one pool and three hills near his palace. So Beihai Park was built with traditional style the water of Beihai and Zhong Nan Hai is the Taiye Pool Qionghua Island, the Island of the Circular City and Xishantai Island represent the three magic mountains. .....

Yonghe Temple
8. It is located at the northeast corner of the city, considered as the largest and most perfectly preserved lamasery in present day China.Built initially in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty, this building was the residence of Emperor Yongzheng when he was just a prince. However, in 1744 the Qing Dynasty formally changed the status of the dwelling to that of a lamasery, and so it became the national centre of Lama administration.On arrival at the south end, the visitor will enter a yard which contains a screen wall and three Paifangs (Gateways), and will observe the red walls and stone lions, symbols which show that it was originally the dwelling of an Imperial Family member. Entering north from the Gateways, the visitor will be confronted by a wide straight road which was used for the carriages of the emperors and their wives during the Qing Dynasty (1644 1911). At the northern end of this road is Zhaotaimen (Gate of Peace Declaration), which comprises three large archways, the central one of which was for the exclusive use of the emperors. .....
Mutianyu
9. The Great Wall at Mutianyu is a little further from Beijing than the most popular section at Badaling, but it doesnt get as crowded. This section of the Wall is fully restored, there are hand rails to help you up on the very steep parts and the views are spectacular.There are many day tours and even mass transit bus services available to this section of the Wall. Bus Line 867 goes straight to the Wall at 730am and 830am and leaves the Wall at 200pm and 400pm. Note, however, that some 867 buses do not go to the Wall, but only to the terminal in Mutianyu proper, so ask the conductor before you board. Also, note that the Beijing bus terminal for 867 is located a short walk from the main terminal at Dongzhimen station.

The other way to get there is to take the 916 Bus from Dongzhimen Station but it will stop at Huairou Bus Shelter. From this Shelter you can take minibus owned by locals for 40 50 Yuan to the gate of Mutianyu. Or you can take a rented car. There will be people approaching you to offer you their car or minibus. They are OK and friendly. But you still need to be careful and alert.This part of the Wall is not as crowded as others and the Wall and steps are in good shape. There are two cable cars that will take you to the top of the Wall and back down again. There are two cable car companies.If you walk on the top of the Wall to the opposite side you will have to buy another ticket. If you plan to walk this far, buy a one way ticket only from the initial car company. You can buy tickets at the top of the wall too but it will cost you a bit more compared to the two way ticket at the entrance. There is also a luge you can use to return to the bottom.There is water available at the top of the Wall but it will cost you a little extra. Toilets are limited at the top of the cable car routes. Plan accordingly.There is a Subway fast food restaurant at the base of the Wall for food to take to the top. There are also many souvenir vendors at the base you will need to make your way through to get to the Wall. .....

Juyong Pass
10. uYongGuan Great Wall is the nearest section of the Great Wall to Beijing a little nearer than BaDaLing that it connects to both these sections of Great Wall protect the same natural pass through the mountains through which now passes the Badaling Expressway and a railway line.JuYongGuan rises steeply each side of a fortrified gate. There is a temple and other attractions close by. JuYongGuan Great Wall also features some life size Terracotta Warriors.JuYongGuan Great Wall is a pass (guan means mountain pass) through the mountains located in an 18 km long valley named GuanGou which is in ChangPing County, more than 50 km from Beijing City.JuYongGuan is one of the three greatest passes of the Great Wall of China.

The other two are JiaYuGuan Pass and ShanHaiGuan Pass.JuYongGuan had many different names in the past however, the name JuYongGuan Pass was used by more than 3 dynasties. It was first used in the Qin Dynasty when Emperor QinShiHuang gave the orders to build the Great Wall of China.There were three white towers on the platform in the past (hence the name Crossing Street Tower) but these were destroyed in the transitional period between the Yuan and Ming dynasties. Later TaiAn Temple was built on the platform but this was later destroyed during the Qing dynasty. .....

Ming tombs
11. The Ming Dynasty was founded by Zhu Yuanzhang, who made Nanjing his capital, under the reign title of Hong Wu. He was on the throne for thirty one years and was buried in Xiaoling in Nanjing after his death. The second emperor was Zhu Yunwen, Zhu Yuanzhang grandson, whose reign title was Jian Wen during the four years he was on the throne. Zhu Yunwen uncle, Zhu Di, the Prince of Yan, who was in Beijing at that time, sent troops southward to seize the throne for himself. After a war of several years, Zhu 135 finally occupied the Ming capital of Nanjing and became emperor. As Zhu Di occupied Nanjing, the palace was ablaze and Emperor Jian Wen (Zhu Yunwen) disappeared without a trace. Some say he burned himself, others say he became a monk. Still, no one knows.

It represents the addition of three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning to the Ming tombs inscribed in 2000 and 2003. The Three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning Province include the Yongling Tomb, the Fuling Tomb, and the Zhaoling Tomb, all built in the 17th century. Constructed for the founding emperors of the Qing Dynasty and their ancestors, the tombs follow the precepts of traditional Chinese geomancy and fengshui theory. They feature rich decoration of stone statues and carvings and tiles with dragon motifs, illustrating the development of the funerary architecture of the Qing Dynasty. The three tomb complexes, and their numerous edifices, combine traditions inherited from previous dynasties and new features of Manchu civilization. .....

Houhai
12. HouHai (Hou lake) is situated between QianHai and XiHai, just north of QianHai. HouHai is in the center of the tradional hutong area of central Beijing. The ancient Drum and Bell Towers are nearby.Around the south and along the west side of HouHai are a variety of teahouses, cafes, bars and boutiques that combine modern and traditional elements in their unique designs. There are also some cafes, restaurants and bars on the east side.The area of Houhai, QianHai and XiHai collectively is often referred to as ShiChaHai. The water for these lakes comes via canal past the north of Beijing Zoo from KunMing lake at the Summer Palace. In turn, the water in KunMing lake comes from rainfall in the Western Fragrant Hills.HouHai is popular all day with small shops in hidden alleys and lots of rickshaws passing by. In the evening, trendy lighting and neon mixes with traditional red lanterns to create a lively yet relaxing atmosphere. .....
Capital Museum
13. The plan for the Capital Museum, located in the Confucius Temple, was prepared in 1953. The museum formally opened in 1981.As a major cultural construction project in Beijing in the 10th Five Year Plan, the new Capital Museum, approved by Beijing Municipal Government in 1999, further approved by the State Council after being submitted by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2001, finally commenced its construction in December 2001.Under the concern and guidance of Beijing Municipal Government, after four years of hard work, the museum finally makes its debut along the western extension of Changan Street, the First Street of China.

With its magnificent architecture, abundant exhibitions, advanced technology and complete functions, the Capital Museum, large and modern, makes its contribution to the titles such as famous historical and cultural city, cultural center and international metropolis of Beijing and ranks among the first class museums both at home and abroad.The architectural design concept of the Capital Museum is Based on human and cultural heritages to serve the society and underlines Harmonious integration of past and present, history and modernism, art and nature. .....

Beijing National Stadium
14. Affectionately known as Bird Nest, it is situated in Olympic Green Village, Chaoyang District. It was designed as the main stadium of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Olympic events of track and field, football, gavelock, weight throw and discus were held there. Since October, 2008, after the Olympics ended, it has been opened as a tourist attraction. Now, it the center of international or domestic sports competition and recreation activities.The design of this large stadium was accomplished together by Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and Chinese architect Li Xinggang and the others. The designers didnt do any redundant disposals to the look of the stadium. They just exposed the steel structures entirely and let them become the most natural appearance. The form of the stadium looks like a big nest which embraces and nurses human beings. Also it looks rather like a cradle bearing human beings hope of the future. .....
National Centre for the Performing Arts
15. The Egg, more formally known as the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is located in Beijing, China. Technically, it is an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake and vast expanse of green space, but the Egg or Water drop building is much easier on the tongue. The building seats 5,452 people in three halls and is almost 12,000 square meters (129,000 sq ft.) in size. It was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. Construction started in December 2001 and the inaugural concert was held in December 2007.The location, immediately to the west of Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People, and near the Forbidden City, combined with the theatre is futuristic design, created considerable controversy. Paul Andreu countered that although there is indeed value in ancient traditional Chinese architecture, Beijing must also include modern architecture, as the capital of the country and an international city of great importance. His design, with large open space, water, trees, was specially designed to complement the red walls of ancient buildings and the Great Hall of the People, in order to melt into the surroundings as opposed to standing out against them. .....
Simatai
16. The wall has reopened in January, 2014, after being closed for more than three years for renovation. A newly built Beijing Wtown (Gubei Water Town) underneath the wall is also put into operation, where cultural experience and exhibition zones, hotels, restaurants, and shops in old style courtyards are available. As the construction is not completed, visitors should make an reservation to visit the wall. There will also be staff leading you the way to the entrance of the wall. No reservation is required if you visit both the town and the wall, as no construction site will be passed.The Simatai Great Wall lies beside Gubeikou Town, in the northeast of Miyun County about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from Beijing. It stretches about three miles (five kilometers) from the Wangjing Tower in the east to Chuanhoukou in the west. The wall is celebrated for its steepness, queerness and intactness. Constructed under the supervision of Qi Jiguang, a famous general in the Ming Dynasty (1368 1644), it is the only part that still has the original appearance of the Ming Dynasty. .....
Gulou and Zhonglou
17. They were originally used as musical instruments in China. Afterward, however, they were used for telling time. As early as in the Han Dynasty (206 BC 220), there was a morning bell and a dusk drum. Telling the time by them played an important role in helping people live and work regularly when there was no other means to keep track of the time. As a result, they became public architectures, and were widely constructed in almost every city throughout the country since the Han Dynasty. In the history of their construction, they are the largest and highest. Their layout is unique, in that they were placed fore and aft, not as the traditional sense of standing right and left horizontally.

This two story arched wooden structure once held 25 drums which, in combination with bells in the Bell Tower, were once used to indicate the time of day. Only one drum remains today, which is beaten four times a day for 15 minutes.The first level of the Drum Tower is a solid square terrace four meters high, 55.6 meters long and 30 meters wide. The front and rear of the terrace are pierced with three arched openings and the two sides with one opening each. The broad, squat multi eaved wooden structure built atop the terrace is impressive with its red wall and yellow glazed roof. In ancient days, the Drum Tower was the time keeping center for the whole city and was equipped with bronze clepsydras (water clocks) and drums that were beaten to mark the hours.The four bronze clepsydras, which once functioned in the Drum Tower, were reputed to date from the Song Dynasty.Set between these four devices was a large bronze gong, which through a series of mechanical devices was linked to the water clocks and sounded each quarter of an hour. When the system of telling time with incense coils, which burned for hours were introduced, the clepsydras fell into disuse. .....

Niujie Mosque
18. Beijing most historical and majestic mosque, it is situated on the Ox Street (Niujie in Chinese) in the city Xuanwu District. First built back in 996, it has a history that stretches back over a thousand years, in which time it has undergone numerous refits and extensions, and has greeted Muslims from all over the world to worship. It covers an area of over 6000 square meters (7176 square yards), and is structurally based on traditional Chinese wooden palaces, yet adopts a typical Arabic style of decoration. There are no human or animal figures among these decorations as these are considered taboo in Islam.Unlike south facing Buddhist temples, it points towards Mekka, the holy land of Islam, in the west.

The layout is symmetrical and compact. The entrance gate is fronted by a large wall with a white marble pedestal, which stretches for around 40 meters (44 yards). A series of relief sculptures sit on the wall, depicting images of happiness and fortune. After passing through the entrance gate, visitors are faced by the Watching Moon Tower a hexagonal, two storied structure, reaching over 10 meters (33 feet) tall and housed under a golden glazed roof. The tower is so named because it was used by the imam to observe the position of the moon to determine times for fasting. .....

Fragrant Hills Park
19. Situated in the east part of western hills, 28 kilometers (17 miles) northwest of the city, it is very large, made up of hills and forest covering 160 hectares (395.4 acres). Both its natural sceneries and cultural relics are abundant. Xianglu Peak (Incense Burner Peak), 557 meters high, is its highest peak.It was first built in 1186 in the Jin Dynasty (1115 1234) and later extended to a large scale in the Yuan and Ming dynasties. In 1745, Emperor Qianlong ordered the addition of many new halls, pavilions and gardens and gave it a new name, Jingyi Garden (Garden of Tranquility and Pleasure). Unfortunately.In 1860 and 1900 after the Summer Palace and the Yuanming Yuan (the Old Summer Palace) were set on fire, lots of relics in the Fragrant Hills were damaged by foreign troops. Since 1949, with a half century restoration and development by Chinese government, it has been recognized as one of the ten most famous parks in Beijing.The most spectacular natural scenery in it is the red smoke tree leaves over the mountains. When autumn arrives, fiery red leaves blanket the entire mountain. Every year, thousands of tourists come to it. The cable cars are a great way to take in the beautiful scenes. .....
Beijing Zoo
20. Situated in the Xicheng District, it was the first of its kind to be opened in China. It contains a diverse collection of animals, a number of exhibition halls and some sites of historical interest.It is home to around 450 different species and has a population of some 5,000 animals. Some of the most popular attractions among visitors are the wild and rare animals of China itself, such as the giant pandas, golden monkeys, milu deer and northeast tigers. However, the collection is far from restricted to those species found only in the People Republic of China the polar bears, American bison, zebras, kangaroos, giraffes and elephants also draw large crowds. The Beijing Zoo is the oldest zoo in China and has a wide variety of animals, including the giant panda, the golden monkey, the white lipped deer, the red crowned crane, and many rare animals from other parts of the world. It is situated to the west of Beijing Exhibition Center, was known for a short time after the founding of the People Republic as the Western Suburbs Park (Xijiao Gongyuan). The grounds combine cultivated flower gardens with stretches of natural scenery, including dense groves of trees, stretches of grassland, a small stream, lotus pools and small hills dotted with pavilions and halls. .....
Beijing Ancient Observatory
21. Beijing Ancient Observatory is located in the southwest side of Jianguomen crossroad at Dongcheng District. It is a special topic site museum of nature science displaying Chinese ancient astronomical equipment and astronomy. Now, it has been reformed to Beijing Ancient Astronomical Equipment Exhibition Hall, which belong to Beijing Astronomy Observatory and was official opened in 1956.Eight magnificent and excellent equipment that are made of bronze stand high and upright on the black brick platform. They are celestial body equipment, equator theodolite, ecliptic theodolite, horizon longitude equipment, quadrant equipment, Simple Phenomena equipment, horizon theodolite and Jihenfuchen equipment made in Qing Dynasty.The elaborate flying dragons, vivid colors are carved on the equipment body. Among which, part of them still has its function of actual observation.

In second exhibition room inside the platform, it displays the China Ancient Astronomical Achievement Exhibition. Four exhibition rooms are set in the quad under the platform The Ziwei Palace and East Wing room exhibited the Lingtai Equipment, which introduces the site of Lingtai, the reform of existing ancient observatory and the production of astronomical equipment and etc while the exhibition in the West Wing room will enlighten you the abundant calendars and important calendar reforms in China the Shadow Observation House is the place that the astronomers in Ming and Qing Dynasty used to ascertain the time and conduct sun shadow measure. .....

Beijing National Aquatics Center
22. The National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, was one of the most dramatic and exciting sporting venues constructed for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.Enclosed within the bubble walls are five swimming pools (including a wave machine and rides), a restaurant and seating and facilities for 17,000 spectators.It looks like a huge blue box, from which it takes its nickname the Water Cube. It is blue in order to reflect sunlight. It shines in the sunlight like a pearl in water. From the inside, you may discover that the pneumatic cushions of all sizes are just like sea bubbles.The design combines modern technologies with Chinese traditional values. In tradition, Chinese conceptualized a square Earth and a round Heaven, and this formed the design central theme. Moreover, the cube shape dominates ancient urban buildings. Its design is of traditional style to meet all its functional requirements.Designed by Chinese and Australian, it is the first building in the world built upon the soap bubble theory, and sports a polyhedral steel framed structure. .....
Beijing city fortifications
23. Beijing was a location of the capital during the last three Chinese imperial dynasties (the Yuan, Ming, and Qing). It was also secondary capital to two northern dynasties (the Liao and Jin), and is therefore often referred to as an ancient capital of five dynasties. It had an extensive fortification system, consisting of the Forbidden City, the Imperial city, the Inner city, and the Outer city. Fortifications included gate towers, gates, archways, watchtowers, barbicans, barbican towers, barbican gates, barbican archways, sluice gates, sluice gate towers, enemy sighting towers, corner guard towers, and a moat system.

It had the most extensive defense system in Imperial China.After the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, Beijing fortifications were gradually dismantled. The Forbidden city has remained largely intact, becoming the Palace Museum. Some fortifications of the Imperial city remain intact, including Tiananmen, the gate tower and watchtower at Zhengyangmen, the watchtower at Deshengmen, the southeastern corner guard tower, and a section of the Inner city wall near Chongwenmen. The latter two components now form the Ming City Wall Relics Park. Nothing of the Outer city remains intact. Yongdingmen was completely reconstructed in 2004. .....

Hongluo Temple
24. There are four Buddhist halls standing on the north south axis. They are Three Gate Hall (Mountain Gate), Devajara Hall (the Hall of Heavenly Kings), Mahavira Hall and Three Sages Hall.Passing the Three Gate Hall, you can see Devajara Hall, where there are statues of four heavenly kings. They are endowed with sacred obligations to bless people to have a full harvest. In the center of the hall is the statue of Maitreya, a fat Buddha. He is known as the laughing Buddha and he tells people about the importance of tolerance. After visiting Devajara Hall, you are in a yard, where there are another four Buddhist halls. The Hall of Thousand Arms Goddess and Jialan Hall lie in the east, and Damo Hall and Hall of the Founder of Pure Land School (a branch of Buddhism) are in the west. It is right in this yard that the superb scenery Duo Ginkgoes has been standing for over one thousand years. The 30 meters (about 98 ft) high ginkgoes stand like a couple, so they are also called Couple Ginkgoes. As old saying claims that it is impossible for only one tree to constitute a forest, however, the male ginkgo grows out upward limbs from its own roots. The local people say that in ancient times, a new limb would sprout when a new dynasty was coming into being. .....
Shichahai
25. Just as different people look different, different cities naturally have their own distinctive image. Take Shanghai for example, talking of the city can make people think of the famous song Shanghai at Night where the vanity of the old city is apparent. And peaceful boating in the lit Qinhuai River remains the stereotype of the ancient capital city of Nanjing in people mind even though that activity has been replaced by noisy crowds of visitors in spite of the pseudo classic gaily painted pleasure boats still running to and fro on the river.Speaking of Beijing, what easily comes to mind are the Forbidden City with its red walls and green tiles, the Beijing dialect from the quadrangle houses, and the undulating and majestic Great Wall. The weight of its history accumulated over time has offset the image of the modern city that it has become.In reality, one needs time as well as energy to discover the real behind the imagined in a city, just as one does with a person. .....
Tianning Temple
26. Located outside Guanganmen in Beijing, it is one of the earliest tall buildings in the ancient capital, a valuable memento of the Liao Dynasty.Construction of the pagoda is estimated to have been between 1100 and 1120 towards the end of the Liao Dynasty.The octagonal pagoda, 57.8 meters tall, was erected on a square platform. The bottom of the pagoda is in the form of a huge Sumeru pedestal, decorated with carved arch patterns. At the corners there are relief sculptures of heavenly guardians accompanied by another level of carved arches. A veranda with banisters and brackets was built around the upper part of the pedestal.Three layers of huge lotus petals carved on the pedestal support the first storey of the pagoda. On four sides of the first storey, facing the four directions, there are relief sculptures of heavenly guardians and arched gates. Above are thirteen levels of eaves, very close together, with no doors or windows. It is a typical pagoda of the Liao and Kin period. .....
Marco Polo Bridge
27. The Japanese drive to become a great power required the domination of China. They defeated the Chinese in war in the 1890s and took away Korea. They soon infiltrated Manchuria, which had rich reserves of coal and other minerals, and began to build up industry there. In 1931 they took over Manchuria altogether, before expanding south.A key moment came in 1937. Under agreements going back to the beginning of the century countries with legations in China had the right to keep troops there in modest numbers for protection. Small numbers of both Japanese and Chinese soldiers were stationed near what in the West was called the Marco Polo Bridge, because the explorer had seen and described its predecessor, near the town of Wanping outside Beijing.What happened that July night is not entirely clear, but the Japanese were carrying out training exercises without giving the customary notice and a few shots were exchanged between them and the startled Chinese troops. The Japanese discovered that one of their soldiers was missing, thought the Chinese might have captured him and demanded to be allowed to search Wanping for him.

The Chinese said they would do the searching themselves, with one Japanese officer accompanying them. Japanese infantry then tried to force their way into Wanping, but were driven back. Both sides sent more troops to the area and early in the morning of July 8th Japanese infantry and armoured vehicles attacked the bridge and took it, but were driven off again. .....

Hall of Supreme Harmony
28. Hall of Supreme Harmony is heart of the immense Forbidden City palace complex. It is the grandest and the most important building in the nation.Hall of Supreme Harmony is translated to mean the Hall of Supreme Harmony and is also know as the Hall of goldThe hall has a variety of furnishings for the exclusive use of the Emperor. The Emperor throne was placed on a two meter high white jade dais in the center which was adorned with gilt and engraved with patterns of clouds and nine dragons.

The grand throne was surrounded by the six huge golden pillars, engraved with dragons representing the supreme dignities and power of the Emperor. Behind the throne was a carved gilt screen and on either side there are incense burners in the shape of the mythical unicorn signifying the obedience of all other kingdoms. Throne. The 35.5 meters high hall has a double layered roof which represents the highest construction rank in the whole empire and thus is exclusively for the emperor. Covering a floor area of 2,377 square meters, the grand hall is the largest wooden structure in the world. No building in Beijing was allowed to be higher than it during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, because of its symbol of imperial power.The Hall was used for grand ceremonies such as the Emperor enthronement ceremony, the Emperor wedding and the ceremony for conferring the Empress. During these occasions the Emperor came to the hall to receive congratulations from the civil and military officials. In addition, the Emperor met high ranking officials and dispatched generals to the battles from this place. .....

Kunming Lake
29. Kunming Lake is a most attractive water feature a short distance from downtown Beijing, where it covers three quarters of the total area of the Summer Palace grounds. By virtue of Beijing is topographical location, with a gradient sloping down from the northwest to the southeast, the lake is situated at the convergence of the hills and a plain. The ground water level gives rise to a number of natural springs that formed the embryo of what ultimately was to become this fine ornamental lake.With an existing natural lake and hill, it is understandable that Emperor Qianlong could not resist the temptation of such a great garden. However, his proposal went beyond merely wanting a pleasure garden for his amusement. The imperial gardens in Beijing needed more water and there was always a flood risk during the rainy season should water overflow the causeway and threaten the imperial city to the east. The enlarged lake would meet all the criteria. In 1750, Qianlong declared the change of West Lake to Kunming Lake, a name that was reminiscent of the inspection by Emperor Han Wu of his navy in Kunming Pool. .....
Church of the Saviour
30. The Church of the Saviour, commonly known as the North Church (Beitang) or the Xishiku Catholic Church (also called Xishiku Church), is a historic Catholic church and the largest Catholic Church in Beijing.Of all the cathedrals and churches located in Beijing, the Xishiku Catholic Church is one of the most ornate and magnificent churches. The style of the building is in typical Gothic style and it is famous for its grand architecture.The Xishiku Catholic Church, built by the Jesuits in 1703, was originally located at Canchiguo in Zhongnanhai (opposite the former Beijing Library), a land bestowed by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty, who also hand wrote the calligraphic plaque and couplets for the building. In 1887 the church was moved to the current place because Empress Dowager Cixi ordered to enlarge Zhongnanhai, which is now an area used as the headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party and formerly home to leading Communists like Chairman Mao, Deng Xiaoping and Zhou Enlai. After it added one more level in 1900 it became the current Xishiku Catholic Church. .....
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