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The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

It is the world’s longest ancient militarydefending project. Together with the Pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal and thecoliseum in Rome,it is one of the greatest manmade wonders over the world. In the year of1987,it was listed by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage. The Great Wall liesinthe northern part of China like adragon winding up themountain and down the valley. Totally there are 5sectionsof the Great Wall located in Beijing:Badaling, Mutianyu, Juyongguan, Simatai and Jinshanling. Among them, Badaling andMutaianyu are the two most beautiful and famous sections.


Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Actually, it is called “Gu Gong” (former palace)in Chinese language. But we nickname it as Forbidden Citybecause ordinary people in the ancient time were forbidden to get inside. Thepalace was started to be built in the year of 1406, and finished in 1420.Totally24emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasty lived inside.

The Forbidden Citywas rectangular in shape and covers an area of 72 hectares, consists

of 3 parts: front court for conducting state affairs, backyard (residential areasfor imperial family members) and imperial garden.


Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is located in the southeast of Beijing, built in the year of 1420 for worshipping the God of Heaven. In 1918, it was open to the public. In 1998,  Temple of Heaven was listed by UNESCOas one of the world heritages.

The main structure inside if the Hall of Praying for Good Harvest,covering an area of5900 square meters, supported by 3 rings of pillars.

The layout of Temple of Heaven is “circular inthe north and square in the south”,because ancient Chinese people believe in the concept that “thesky is round in shape while the earth is square in shape.”

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is one of the best preserved imperial gardens in China,In Chinese language, we call it the Garden of Joyfulness and Harmony.It is located about 12 km northwest to the centre of Beijing. It can bedivided into 3 parts: political area, residential area and scenery area.

However it was destroyed in1900 when 8 allied forces invaded Beijing.The Long Corridor inside the garden broke the World Guinness Record for being“the world’s longest covered painted veranda”. There are over14,000 traditional Chinese paintings along the corridor.


Ming Tombs

Ming Tombs

The Thirteen Ming Tombs are the burying area for 13 Ming Dynasty emperors. They are located at the foot of Heavenly Longevity Mountain.This site  was chosen according to Chinese Fengshui (geomancy) principles. The evil winds from the north must be deflected, so anarc-shaped area at the foot of the mountain was selected. The tombs were designed with great importance attached to the harmony between the nature and human being. Its construction had been going on for over 200 years. However,some of them got damaged by the Qing troops in the end of the Ming Dynasty. In 2003, Ming Tombs were listed by UNESCO as world heritages.


Olympic Garden

Olympic Garden

It is the place for 2008 Olympic Games and Paralympics. It includes: Bird Nest,Water Cube, National Stadium, and China Science and Technology Museum and soon.

The Bird Nest wasco-designed by engineers from Switzerlandand China with 91,000 seats and costs 3.6 billion RMB (550 million US dollars).

The Water Cube was co-designedby Chinese and Australian engineers with 6000 seatsand cost 1 billion RMB (150million US dollars).

After the 2008 Olympic Games,it was transformed into an activity centrefor the public. International and national sports events like tournaments and popular music concerts and performances are held inside.


Hutong

Hutong

Hutong in Mongolian languages means water well. Hutong history can be traced back to 700 years ago. At that time, Beijing was a city lacking in water, and water resources was crucial to people’s living, so local people’s houses formed around digged water well.

SiHe Yuan, depicts the typical courtyard where local people live. Usually, rooms located on four sides of the yard were assigned to different people to live according to Chinese Fengshui culture: elder people in the north, son in the east, daughter in the west while servants live in the south.

The life pace inside the Hutong is slower than modern avenues. The narrowness of the Hutong discourages heavy traffic. So we often can see local residents,especially the elder generation playing cards, Chinese Chess or just chatting with each other relaxingly.