Architecture in Beijing

When tourists come to China they often imagine a place of antiquity, with rickshaws, boats full of produce floating down the rivers and canals, and single-story architecture. The truth is that Beijing is an extremely modern place with skyscrapers, wide avenues and machine street cleaners and even a web of underground transportation. In short, Beijing is an extremely modern place. What makes it unique is that the city is centered on the Forbidden City-- an ancient palace of beautiful Chinese architecture smack dab in the heart of Beijing. And that isn't the only piece of amazing historical architecture in Beijing.

The Forbidden City is located north of Tiananmen Square, which is itself a marvel of architecture since it has survived as a market place, a meeting point and a political center since Beijing's founding. Qianmen Market Street, to the south, survives as a place for commerce and trade as a result of its proximity and you'll find older style architecture there. To the South lies the Temple of Heaven, and to the north, the Bell and Drum Towers finish off the line of structures that make up the heart of Beijing.

The Summer Palace, created for respite from the heat of summer and the smells of Beijing in full heat, is an entirely different type of architecture and offers the enthusiast a chance to compare and contrast. And for the history buff, the Old Summer Palace Ruins give a glimpse into what was there before the newer (albeit old) palace.

For a view of what modern China is capable of, visit The Egg, or The National Center for the Performing Arts. This beautiful and modern piece of architecture and art shows how innovative China is likely to remain when it comes to lasting structures. The Olympic structures and CCTV tower demonstrate the same thing and are both also worth a visit.

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Forbidden City (Gu Gong)

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North of Tiananmen Square
Dong Cheng District

China's greatest imperial palace complex... read more

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Great Wall at Mu Tian Yu

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San Du He Village
Huai Rou County

Second most popular stretch of the Wall... read more

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Tiananmen Square

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Chang An Avenue
Dong Cheng District

Geographical and symbolic center of Beijing...
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qianmen market street

Qianmen Dajie

A recreation of an ancient shopping street...
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Village at Sanlitun

19 Sanlitun Lu

Shop & Dine... read more

Gudai Jianzhu Bowuguan (Museum of Ancient Architecture)

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Dong Jing Lu 21
Xuanwu Qu

Restored Ming Dynasty Hall... read more

Summer Palace (The)

Beiqing Road

Historic Imperial Residence in Park Setting...
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Bell Tower

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Di'anmen Dajie

Enormous Bell... read more

Ruins of the Old Summer Palace

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28 Qing Hua West Road
(north of Beijing University and east of the Summer Palace)

Former imperial residence in park setting... read more

National Center for the Performing Arts

2 Xichang'an Jie

The Egg is Open... read more
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