The capital of China is an enormous and complex city, hosting a collection of traditional Chinese culture alongside busy modern streets.
While high-end and internationally recognized brand names and department stores can be found in Wangfujing, of one of Beijing’s most famous shopping districts, the real hidden gem is the traditional street market located off the main street.
The largest city square in the world, Tiananmen has been the venue of several significant Chinese events throughout history, such as the May Fourth Movement in 1919, the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China by Mao Zedong on October 1, 1949 and the protests of 1989, which resulted in military oppression and many protestor deaths.
For almost 500 years, the Forbidden City served as the Chinese Imperial Palace and home to emperors. It was also the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.
Built in the early 1400s, the complex, which exemplifies traditional Chinese architecture, consists of 980 buildings covering a total of 7,800,000 square feet.
It’s style has influenced cultural and architectural developments throughout East Asia, and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 for being the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
The Great Wall
The Great Wall is a series of wall sections built from as early as the 7th century BC. These sections run east to west along northern China and were used in ancient times to protect the Chinese Empire.
Though some parts of the wall – particularly the sections around Beijing – have been preserved for tourism, most sections have been destroyed from wars, erosion and governmental neglect.
The following are photographs of the Juyongguan Pass section, located in the northwestern part of Beijing.
With a population of over 20 million people, the idea of exploring Beijing might seem like a daunting task, but in truth, one can get experience all of it’s highlights as quick as three days time.
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