Guide (English) >Beijing (English)
the capital of China and one of the seven old capitals in Chinese
history, Beijing is the first one of the state-listed famous cultural
and historic cities. It blends as well as the traditional outlook
and the spectacular view of the modern metropolis. The Great Wall,
the Palace Museum, and the Site of Zhoukoudian-Home of Peking Man
have been listed as the world heritage. Beijing is also a noted city
for international tourism. The Architecture of the Imperial Palaces
of the Ming and Qing dynasties have been preserved well. On the axis
from south to north are Yongding Gate, Zhengyang Gate, Chairman Mao
Memorial Hall, the Monument to the People's Heroes, Tian'anmen Gate,
Duan Gate, the Palace Museum, Jingshan Park(Coal Hill), Drum Tower,
and Bell Tower. Around the Palace Museum is the Imperial City. There
are the Temple for Ancestral Worship, the Altar of the Earth and Harvests,
and Beihai Park. The outer lane is the Inner City. There are the Imperial
College, Yonghegong, Miaoying Temple, and etc. Outside the Inner City
are the Temple of Heaven, the Temple of Earth, the Temple of Agriculture,
the Summer Palace, the Yuanmingyuan Ruins, and etc. In the outer suburbs
are the Ming Tombs, the Great Wall, and the Site of Zhoukoudian-home
of Peking Man. The newly - opened natural and so on. Beijing is rich
in the former homes of the famous persons, the Beijing-style lanes
(Hutong) and street view, folk arts, and delicacies.
Gate, or the Gate of the Heavenly Peace, bounds the northern end of
the square in the center of city proper. It was first built in the
15th year of the Ming Emperor Yongle (1417 A.D) as the main gate leading
to the Forbidden city in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
It is 33.7 meters high over the moat (Jinshui River, or Gold Water
River) to each of the gate ways. There are two pairs of vigorous stone
lions and cloud pillars (marble pillars). All of these make Tian'anmen
magnificent and beautiful. It is indeed a perfect masterpiece in its
architectural design and artistic from.
Tian'anmen Gate is the symbol (emblem) of New China.
Great Hall of the People
Great Hall of the People flanks the western side of Tian'anmen Square
(If you stand with your back to Tian'anmen Gate it is on the right-hand
side of the square.). Constructed in 1959, it's over 40 meters high,
with a floor space of 171800 square meters, when it is in session.
The Great Hall has numerous conference rooms, banquet halls, and reception
areas, many of vast size: the major conference hall accommodates 10000
people and the huge banquet hall can seat 5000.
to the People's Heroes
Monument to the People's Heroes is in the center of Tian'anmen Square.
The late Chairman Mao Zedong laid the cornerstone (foundation stone)
himself on September 30, 1949. The construction began in August, 1951
and it was erected in April, 1958. The granite obelisk rises 37.94
meters. The gilded inscription on the north face is in Chairman Mao's
calligraphy and reads:" The People's Heroes Are Immortal."
The base of the obelisk is decorated with bar-relief carvings depicting
major events of the revolution.
Museum (Forbidden City)
Palace Museum, formerly known as the Forbidden City, is located at
the heart of Beijing. It is the grandest integral Palace complex still
remaining in China. It used to be the imperial palace of the Ming
and Qing, the last two dynasties of China. The construction of the
palaces in the Forbidden City started in 1406, i.e. in the 4th year
under the reign of Yong Le in the Ming Dynasty. The project spread
over 15 years and was not completed until 1420. They housed the courts
of a succession of 24 emperors. The whole palace complex was converted
into a museum in 1925.
The palace complex, consisting of over 9000 rooms (with a floor space
of 150000 square meters), covers an area of 72000 square meters. It
is surrounded by a 3 - kilometer - long wall 10 meters high and protected
by a moat 52 meters wide. The Forbidden City has four imposing gates
and at each corner is an exquisitely designed watch tower.
The entire architectural layout was designed to bring out the supreme
authority of the emperor and the hierarchy of the feudal society.
All the principal palaces lie on the axis of the old city of Beijing
and group of buildings on both sides were laid out to achieve the
symmetrical effect of perfect unity.
Temple of Heaven
Tan (the Temple of Heaven) covers an area of 273 hectares, or three
times that of the Palace Museum. The construction project started
in 1406 (the 4th year of the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty)
and lasted 14 years.
It was built for the emperors in ancient China to worship Heaven.
There are two layers of walls arrounding the Temple, dividing it into
two parts: the inner enclosure and the outer enclosure. Of both walls
the northern part is semi - circular and the southern part square.
The circles is symbolic of the heaven and the square the earth. Even
the major buildings in the Temple, seen from above, are also round
at the top with square bases underneath. The style derived form the
ancient conception that the heaven is round and the earth square.
also known as the Lamasery or palace of Eternal Harmony, lies on the
eastern side of Yonghegong Street. It was first constructed in 1649
as the palace of an emperor's son. Later in 1744 it was rebuilt and
converted into a temple devoted to the cult of the living Lam. Wanfuge
(Ten Thousand Happiness Tower) is the largest building in the temple.
Tin the tower there is a noted enormous standing figure of Maitreya
in sandalwood, which is 26 meters high (18 meters above ground level).
It is the largest preserved lamasery in Beijing.
Palace (Yihe Yuan)
Yuan (the Garden of Peaceful Easy Life) on the northwestern outskirts
of Beijing was an imperial summer resort of the Qing Dynasty. A large
- scale expansion project started here in 1750 and was completed in
Composed of Kunming Hu (Kunming Lake) and Wanshou Shan (Longevity
Hill), the palace occupies an ares of 290 hectares, three quarters
of which are covered by water. With its perfect layout, magnificent
buildings and enchanting landscape, the Summer Palace is the most
splendid classical garden in China.
Tombs, a group of mausoleums of thirteen Ming emperors, are located
at the southern slopes of the Jundu Mountains on the Northern outskirts
The shapes of the buildings of all the tombs are almost the same.
Among the thirteen tombs, Chang Ling, the tomb of Emperor Yong Le,
built first, is the largest and the best preserved with a history
of more than 500 years. A 7 - kilometer - long passageway, also called
the Sacred Way, leads to the tombs. Along the passage way, there are
Dahong Men (the Great Red Gate), Stela Pavilion, a group of stone
statues, and Dragon and Phoenix Gate. In front of the Great Red Gate,
there stands an elegant marble monument.
Chang Ling has a group of palatial buildings, including tomb gate,
Ling's en Men (the Gate of Eminent Favour), Ling'en Dain (the Hall
of Eminent Favour), Inner Red Gate, Soul Tower and the Precious Summit.
Ling'en Dian, similar to Taihe Dian of the Palace Museum, covers a
floor space of nearly 2000 square meters. It is supported by 60 huge
columns (32 of them are open), each made of a single Nanmu tree. The
four in the center are 1.17 maters in diameter and two persons can
hardly embrace them. Smooth and straight, they look most marvelous.
Ding Ling is the tomb of Emperor Zhu Yi Jun of the Ming Dynasty. The
secrets of the Underground Palace of the tomb were finally revealed
in May, 1957, after one year's excavation. The Underground Palace,
Neat and dry, is entirely made of solid blocks of marble and granite.
It is composed of 5 halls. (the front, the middle, the rear, the east
and the west wing halls). In the central hall, there are three carved
marble thrones. In the rear hall, there are three coffins, one for
the emperor and two his empresses. Some 3000 articles unearthed are
now on show.
The Underground Palace has 7 pairs of two - leafed doors made of white
marble stone, each pair weighing 9 tons. They are easy to open. and
close. When the doors are closed, they are propped up by stone bars
inside and cannot be pushed open from outside.
from Shanghaiguan in the east and ending at Jiayuguan in the west.
The Great Wall has an approximate length of 6700 kilometers. The
section of the Great Wall at Badaling is 75 Kilometers from Beijing.
The earliest part of the Wall was built during the Warring State
Period (476 - 211 B.C) and subsequent dynasties continued the project.
The Great Wall averages 7.8 meters in height and is 6.5 meters wide
at the base and 5.8 meters wide at the top. A watch - tower built
every hundred meters.
Located on the northwest of Beijing, the pass has a long history.
The site had been the only means of access to the interior since
the 3th century B.C. (the Qin and Han Dynasties) and a pass was
built. "The Verdant Ranges of Juyong" was listed as one
of the "Eight Scenes of Yanjing" in the 12th century.
Strategically situated, the Juyong Pass served as the north gate
of Beijing in ancient times and was one of the important passes
of the Great Wall. In the center of the town, there remains the
base of the Terrace of Clouds which was built in 1345.
There is a military reviewing ground outside the north gate of the
Pass. 9 kilometers north of the Juyong Pass is the Qinglongqiao
Railway Station, in front of which is erected a bronze statue in
memory of the outstanding railway engineer Zhan Tianyou who made
great contributions to the construction of the railway from Beijing