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Tourist attractions Beijing

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  • 1 Forbidden City Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    CHN - Beijing

    This extraordinary urban complex of 800 palaces, temples and pavilions containing some 9 000 rooms presents a huge challenge for the millions of tourists who visit the Forbidden City. The seat of power and sacrarium of the Ming and Qing dynasties unt..

  • 2 Summer Palace Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    CHN - Hejin

    Built in the 12C, but sacked on several occasions, this summer palace was restored at great expense at the end of the 19C by the empress Cixi, whose megalomania remains legendary even to this day. Situated 12km northwest of Beijing, this enchanting s..

  • 3 Great Wall Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    CHN - Badaling

    This winding, superhuman construction, which is said to be visible from the moon, runs for a length of 6 000km, punctuated along its route by 40 000 towers and small forts. It follows every contour of the land it traverses, but it is at Simatai, wher..

  • 4 Great Wall at Simatai Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    CHN - Simatai

    Simatai is the most spectacular and striking section of the Great Wall as it is here that it traverses mountain ridges, the sides of which plunge dramatically into the void below. In these extreme landscapes, the technical prowess of engineers from t..

  • 5 Xidi Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    CHN - Xidi

    Now a World Heritage Site, Xidi has a long history and is one of the best places to see architecture from the Ming and Qing periods. Built by merchants who made their fortunes from the salt and tea trades, these houses are remarkable, with their whit..

  • 6 Tiananmen Square Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Place Tian'Anmen CHN - Hejin

    The affirmation of absolute power is embodied in this 20ha esplanade, a megalomaniac creation of Mao, whose portrait still features as a backdrop. Adorned with red flags, this is the heart of Beijing, where the past (the Forbidden City) and the prese..

  • 7 Tiananmen Gate Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Place Tian'Anmen CHN - Hejin

    Founded in the 15C and remodelled two centuries later, the Tiananmen Gate (or Gate of Heavenly Peace) served as the tribune of the Emperors, and then of Chairman Mao, who proclaimed the People's Republic of China on this spot in 1949. His giant portr..

  • 8 Gate of Supreme Harmony Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    CHN - Hejin

    This gate, without doubt the most ornately decorated in the Forbidden City, is guarded by two imposing bronze lions, the symbol of the highest-ranking dignitaries of the State. It was built for the first time in 1420, then completely reconstructed un..

  • 9 Coal Hill Park Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    CHN - Hejin

    Situated to the north of the Forbidden City, on the opposite side of the street from the gates of the military engineering headquarters, Coal Hill Park is one of the most pleasant in Beijing. Boasting a superb view of the centre of the city, it is, i..

  • 10 Prince Gong's Palace Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    CHN - Hejin

    The residence of Prince Gong, built in the last quarter of the 18C across an area of 3ha, is worth a visit if only to admire the splendour of its gardens. Underground passageways, a forest of rocks, small lakes and water features have all been create..

  • 11 Southeast Tower Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Chongwenmen Dajie CHN - Hejin

    Despite the huge urban transformation that has taken place in the Choyang district, a few nostalgic architectural gems still remain here. The vestiges of the old Ming fortifications, built in the 15C and stretching for 1.5km, are a perfect illustrati..

  • 12 Eastern Peak Temple Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    CHN - Hejin

    Many Chinese continue to follow the Taoist faith, as witnessed by the Eastern Peak Temple, built in the early 14C. It receives the faithful who come here to place their offerings in front of the statues of a rich pantheon of divinities, made up of a ..

  • 13 Lama Temple Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    CHN - Hejin

    The Lama Temple, the former palace of Prince Yong, was granted to the Tibetan community in 1744. This lamasery, one of the major attractions in Beijing, boasted a spiritual aura equal to that of the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. It contains splendid Buddh..

  • 14 Temple of Heaven Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    CHN - Hejin

    It was from the Temple of Heaven - built in the 16C and remodelled in the 18C and 19C - that the Ming and Qing emperors adopted the role of spiritual intermediaries with the gods on behalf of the nation. In keeping with such an event, everything here..

  • 15 Cow Street Mosque Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    CHN - Hejin

    The Cow Street Mosque was erected for the first time in the 10C and rebuilt in the 13C, making it the oldest in Beijing. Like the Great Mosque in Xi'an, the Chinese architecture of its buildings makes it difficult at first glance to distinguish it fr..

  • 16 Beijing Art Museum and Wanshou Temple Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    CHN - Hejin

    En route to their summer residence, the Ming emperors stopped at the 16C Temple of Longevity. Two towers, the Drum and Clock towers, provide an early glimpse of architecture which is similar to that of the Forbidden City and which could be taken for ..

  • 17 Former Summer Palace Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    CHN - Hejin

    The former Summer Palace, a complex of European-style buildings, was built under the reign of the emperor Qianlong, between 1740 and 1747, and based on plans drawn up by Jesuit missionaries. This complex, the splendour of which incorporated the best ..

  • 18 Fragrant Hills Park Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    Wofosi Lu CHN - Hejin

    Located close to the Summer Palace, this park certainly lives up to its name, with its scented gardens and temples full of incense. The first to take advantage of the coolness of the park were the emperors of the Yeng dynasty, who built the 14C Azure..

  • 19 Qing Tombs Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    CHN - Sibozi

    Manchurian in origin, the Qing dynasty ruled from 1644 to 1911, colonising Mongolia's interior, Chinese Turkestan and Tibet. The decline of their vast empire, which was difficult to control, marked the end of the long cycle of dynasties. The Qing emp..

  • 20 Qianlong's Tomb Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    CHN - Sibozi

    The first Qing emperor to be buried on the site was Qianlong, who reigned from 1711 to 1799. His tomb, or rather what the tomb-raiders left of it, is one of China's most impressive burial places. Occupying the basement of a wooden pavilion, it is hou..

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