Sights in Beijing

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Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Beijing is one of the most famous historical and cultural cities in the world. According to written records, the construction of the city took place in in 1045 BC, more than 3000 years ago. Once a capital of many different dynasties, Beijing has played an important role in the long history of China, e.g. during the 600 years after the emperor Hubilie had appointed Beijing as the capital in 1267 for Yuan dynasty, followed by Ming and Qing dynasties.Thus, more than 30 emperors in these three dynasties held swing of the vast land of China and so the heritage of the Chinese culture was continued and spread.

Due to the 3000 years of history as a city and about thousand years as a capital, Beijing has got hundreds of historical, cultural and art ancient sites of great value. Scholars and learners call Beijing "the greatest individual project of the mankind". This is by no means an overestimation as the city itself appears to be a great historical museum: there is the Great Wall winding magnificently in the mountains, the imposing Forbidden City with its grandeur, the impressive Tienanmen Square, the Temple of Heaven venerable and solemn at the same time, the Summer Palace, Yuanming Palace and Beihai Park royal gardens as beautiful as pictures and a stunning religious architecture.These places are highly attractive while displaying the charm of oriental cultures.

Literature and art of Beijing have a long and varied tradition as there were so many minority cultures gathered during the different times. However, behind the varieties, local and native characters are still thick and strong; Peking Opera as the quintessence of China is a most representative local art of Beijing. In this gradually modernized city, folk-customs still exist as a fine tradition, displaying an oriental civilization. While walking on Liulichang culture street, entering the old four-sided courtyard and visiting the temple fairs in Beijing, you will surely see the current reality remarkably mingle with the historical traditions.

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Zhongshan Park

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type:Parks & Gardens
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Hutong

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These 100+ year old neighborhoods in the traditional Feng Shui courtyard architecture are all over the city. You can visit some of the historic Hutongs, but a stroll through any shows an interesting piece of everyday Beijing.

Most Hutongs are without toilets and hot water (only communal facilities every block or so), and many are being torn down and replaced with the international symbol of development: ugly apartment blocks. The historic Hutongs are being preserved, but be sure to visit one while you can.

type:Historical Sites
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Forbidden City

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The Forbidden City is a vast imperial complex that can be divided into two main parts: the outer palace and the inner place. It will cost you at least a day to explore all facets of the complex, ranging from several palaces to several halls of harmony, such as the Zhonghedian, the Baohedian and the Jiaotaidan.

type:Historical Sites
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The Great Wall

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The Great Wall is considered to be one of the most impressive structures in the world. It winds it way for endless (alright then, approximately 6,350) kilometers through Chinese valleys, desert areas and over mountains. The defensive wall dates back from the 5th century B.C. and was enlarged and lengthened in the following centuries by successive dynasties.

The Great Wall is mostly visited at three spots. Badaling is the most easily accessible, and consequently most crowded, spot that is located at a two hours’ drive from Beijing (by train it might take more more..

type:Historical Sites
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Tiananmen Square

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Most people can probably recall the peaceful demonstrations for democracy on this square in 1989 that resulted in the killing of an unknown number of students (figures range from 300 to 3,000 victims). The square, where Mao announced the founding of the People's Republic of China, got its name from the Tiananmen, or "Gate of Heavenly Peace," on the southern part that lead up to the Forbidden City. Several impressive gates, such as the Tuenanmen Gate, the Qianmen Gate and the Xuanwumen Gate, mark the square. This is also the place where you can visit the Chairman Mao Memorial more..

type:Historical Sites
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Chinese Ethnic Cultural Park

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type:Parks & Gardens
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address:Yayuncun
tel:6206 3626

The Summer Palace

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This palace and its surrounding complex is also better known as the Garden of Cultivating Peace. In its vicinity, you’ll also find the Temple of the Azure Clouds and the Temple of the Sleeping Buddha.

type:Historical Sites
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Lama Temple

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Lama Temple (Lamasery of Harmony and Peace), one of the best-preserved temples in Beijing, is one of the most important attractions of the city. This complex, dating back to 1694, used to be the palace in which the son and successor of the Kangxi Emperor lived. It was converted into a lamasery in 1744. The lama temple, built on a north-south axis, has been preserved until today. The temple still houses a small group of Lamaist monks, young and old, who also manage the complex. The lama temple is divided into five important halls: Hall of the Celestial Guardians, Yonghe Gong Dian, more..

type:Hotspots
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address:North Second Ring Road

Beihai Park

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The history of Beihai Park goes back more than 800 years. In the 10th century, an imperial residence was built here. When Beijing became the capital of the Yuan Dynasty, the first Yuan emperor, Kublai Khan, had the park splendidly designed. The large picturesque stones on the park grounds were brought here from the Imperial Garden of the Northern Song Capital, Kaifeng. In 1651, the White Pagoda was built on the site of the ruins of Guanghan Palace that had been destroyed by an earthquake. Main attractions in Beihai Park are Round City, Jade Flower Island, White Pagoda, Wanfo Lou more..

type:Parks & Gardens
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address:Coal Hill Area

Yuanming Garden

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Yuanming Garden lies on the northwestern outskirts of the city, north of Beijing University and only 500m from the Summer Palace. It was built during the Qing Dynasty over a period of 150 years and included three gardens: Yuanming Yuan, Changchun Yuan and Qichun Yuan. They were laid out separately, yet in a way so that they complement each other harmoniously. The area covered about 340 hectares. The three-in-one garden was considered a masterpiece of Chinese gardening. In 1860, however, the allied forces of Great Britain and France reduced it to cinders within ten days. After more..

type:Parks & Gardens
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Tiantan – Temple of Heaven

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Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
photo by: Praful Soneji

The Temple of Heaven is located in the southeastern part of Beijing. Emperors of the Ming and Qin dynasties came here to pray for a good harvest in spring and for rain in summer, and to offer sacrifices to heaven in winter.

type:Temples
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address:South of the Forbidden city

Daguanyuan – Grand View Garden

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type:Parks & Gardens
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address:Southwest Beijing
tel:6326 2306

Beijing Botanical Garden

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type:Parks & Gardens
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Temple of the Sea of Wisdom

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type:Temples
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address:Fragrant Hill

Great Bell Temple

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type:Temples
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address:31a Beisanhuan Xilu
tel:6254 1971

Temple of the Azure Clouds

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type:Temples
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address:Summer Palace area

Museum of Chinese Revolution

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type:Museums
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address:East of Tiananmen Square

Dragon King Temple

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type:Temples
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address:Island in Kunning Lake

Ming Tombs

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The Ming tombs are really an outstanding sight to visit. Open daily from 8 am - 4 (or sometimes half an hour longer). They are located 50 km northwest of the city and usually visit see them on their way to visit the Great Wall at Badaling.

type:Historical Sites
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Museum of Chinese History

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This giant museum is rated as China's best. The exhibition is divided into four departments: primitive society, slave society, feudal society and semifeudal society. One major highlight is the Flying Horse of Gansu.

type:Museums
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address:East of Tiananmen Square
tel:6512 8901
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