Beijing is a city with tremendous history and beautiful architecture. It was placed on display four years ago when Beijing hosted the Summer Olympics and presented one of the most breathtaking opening ceremonies seen in the modern Olympic games. We will be visiting just a few of the historic locations located in Beijing, China.
The Forbidden City was built in the early 1400′s and was the Chinese imperial palace from its inception under the Ming Dynasty until the abdication of the last Emperor of China at the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1912. It has 980 buildings with 8,886 rooms. It is surrounded by a 26 foot high wall and a moat 20 feet deep. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 because of its place in the development of Chinese architecture and culture. It is currently undergoing a 16-year restoration project to restore all of the buildings in the Forbidden City, but is still open to the public.
Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world and is separated from the Forbidden City by the Tiananmen Gate. The square was built in 1651 and has quadrupled in size since its construction. A Mausoleum to Mao Zedong was contructed in Tiananmen Square in 1976. Tiananmen Square has held multiple political events and protests. One of the most notable events held here was the Tiananmen Square Protests held in 1989. This protest ended with the declaration of martial law and the deaths of hundreds of people.
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications along the historical northern borders of China. Originally built as several smaller separate walls, they were later connected together. It currently stands at 13,171 miles long. Some portions of the Great Wall have been preserved, but other portions have fallen into disrepair or have been damaged by vandalism. The Great Wall is also subject to a popular myth stating that it is visible from space, which has been proven incorrect on multiple occasions.
Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is a series of buildings used for religous purposes. The buildings were constructed between 1406 and 1420, but were not named the Temple of Heaven until the 16th Century. Many of the buildings were damaged with the downfall of the Qing Dynasty, with several of the buildings eventually collapsing. In 1918, the temple was opened to the public for the first time. It was named a World Heritage Site in 1998.
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