Beijing in Brief
Beijng, also known as Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's largest state-owned companies. The metropolis, located in northern China, borders Hebei Province to the north, west, south, and a small section to the east, and Tianjin Municipality to the southeast. Governed as a municipality under the direct administration of the national government, Bejing is divided into 14 urban and suburban districts and two rural counties. It is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and motorways passing through the city, and the destination of many international flights to China.
Few cities in the world have served as long as the political and cultural centre of an area as immense. Beijng is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. It has been the heart of China history for centuries, and there is scarcely a major building of any age in Bejing that does not have at least some national historical significance. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples，and huge stone walls and gates. lts art treasures and universities have long made it a centre of culture and art in China.
The Forbidden City故宫
As the largest and best-preserved ancient royal building complex in the world, the Palace Museum is a reflection of the highest architecture level in ancient China. Forbidden City, located in the center of Beijing, is the largest, best-preserved in the world. The Forbidden City used to be the imperial palaceof Ming Dynasty which began to be built in 1406 AD and completed in 1420 AD with toilsome work of tens of thousands of laborers. The rectangle-shaped palace is 961 meters from south to north and 753 meters from west to east. It covers an area of 725,000 square meters and the building area is 155,000 square meters with 8,707 rooms. The wall of palace is 12 meters high and 3,400 meters long. There is a moat with the length of 52 meters around the palace. In this way, the palace becomes a strong and impregnable castle. The building complex was laid out very precisely in accordance with a feudal code of architectural hierarchy which designated specific feature for reflecting the paramount authority and status of the emperor.
The Great Wall 长城
The Chinese Great Wall is the great construction in the history of human civilization. It was praised asthe Eighth Wonder of the World many years ago. The construction of the Great Wall began from the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring Period (770BC-221BC). After unification of China by Qinshihuang (the first emperor in China), Qinshihuang ordered his people to build a new wall on the base of the original one in large scale. Subsequent dynasties continued to strengthen and extend the wall. The most part of the extant wall from Shanhaiguan in Pohai to Jiayuguan in Gansu Province were built by Ming dynasty (1386–1644AC). The Great Wall is 7.8 meters high, 6.5 meters across at its base and 5.8 meters at its top. There is a watchtower rise to about 12 meters every one hundred meters.
Situated in western outskirts of Beijing, the Summer Palace is 10 kilometers from the central city. It is China's leading classical garden which enjoys a worldwide reputation. The Summer Palace was opened to the public in 1924 and included in the UNESCO world heritage list in 1998. A whole day is needed to view it in detail. The Summer Palace was first built in 1153 and served as an imperial palace for short stays away from the capital. Empress Dowager Ci Xi rebuilt it in 1888 with a large sum of money which had been appropriated to build a Chinese navy. The two main elements of the garden are Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. Kunming Lake, with an exquisite building in the middle, takes up three quarters of the garden's 290 hectares. The garden consists of three parts: the political activity area, the empress's living quarter and the scenic area which separately centers on the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity(1), the Hall of Jade Ripples(2) and the Hall of Happiness and Longevity(3), and Longevity Hill(4) and Kunming Lake. The groups of buildings, hills and lakes, together with the background of West Hills, give an ever changing scene.
The Old Summer Palace圆明园
Yuanmingyuan Park, situated in the northwest of Beijing, is the most magnificent royal garden of Qing Dynasty in the Chinese history. The construction started in 1709 during the rule of the Emperor of Kangxi (the second emperor of the Qing Dynasty.), went through 6 emperors and finally finished in 1875. The park is comprised of the Eternal Spring Garden, the Wanchun Garden and Yuanmingyuan Garden with the building area of over 160,000 square meters as big as the Imperial Palace and the area of water as large as the Summer Palace.