Beijing is a must visit destination. The unique culture of the Dragon Empire makes this trip to Beijing a real meeting of cultures. The city is one of the oldest in the world, starting around 1000 years before Christ. Today it is one of the most important cities in the world. As the capital of one of the greatest powers, in addition to tourism, you will find Beijing a place, an international business center like no other.
The city’s 21 million inhabitants testify to the diversity of cultures lived there. As well as a mixture of generations full of history. A place where narrow streets of an old Beijing and large skyscrapers of a commercial trading center coexist.
Tip 1: Forbidden City
The Royal Palace of Beijing is not so much a palace as a mighty fortress. The 10-meter-high wall, just like the wide moat, illustrates the former untouchability of the imperial palace. This is called the “Forbidden City” because in former times only the emperor, his wives, children and eunuchs were allowed to enter the palace. All others were forbidden to enter on pain of death. Today, you can visit the imperial palace without any problems and it is located in the center of Beijing. Built between 1406 and 1420, it is 960 meters long and has a rectangular floor plan. The Royal Palace consists of many individual buildings and areas and is an incomparable sight in Beijing that must be seen with your own eyes.
The palace garden, the breathtaking art collections and the construction of the individual buildings: the “Forbidden City” in Beijing will always remain in your memory.
Tip 2: Great Wall
The Great Wall of China can be called one of the most important structures of the People’s Republic of China – the wall covers a total length of more than 6,200 kilometers and is the largest structure in the world. In addition, to this day there is no other structure that comes close to the Great Wall of China in terms of mass – making it the longest and largest structure in the world and an exceptional sight on any trip to China. The UNESCO World Heritage Site stretches from Shanhaiguan Pass on the east coast of the country to Jiayuguan Pass, located in the Gobi Desert. The oldest sections of the wall are said to date back to 700 BC.
Originally, the Chinese empire should be protected by the Great Wall of China from the attacks of nomadic horsemen. Today, of course, this protection is no longer necessary, but on your visit to the wall you will not only gain an insight into the magnificent landscape, but also into the history of the country.
Tip 3: Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998, is located on an area three times larger than that of the Forbidden City and is among the largest complex of ancient sacrificial altars in China.
The temple was built for ceremonies of the Chinese emperor, who according to ancient beliefs was the son of heaven. The emperor had to offer sacrifices to heaven and pray for a good harvest. The ceremony was of utmost importance to the Chinese people, who believed that the slightest mistake could lead to a bad year for the entire nation, especially during the winter solstice.
Like most parks in China, the Temple of Heaven has four entrances, with the East and South Gates being the most frequented by visitors. It is a good idea to enter through the South Gate and exit through the East Gate, as this route will take you in the footsteps of the emperors of the Ming and Qing periods when they held the annual prayer and offering ceremonies. On this route, you can also see all the important sacrificial buildings of the temple complex, including the Altar of the Circular Mound, the Imperial Celestial Vault and Echo Wall, and the Prayer Hall for Good Harvest. If you choose this route, you will also not have to cross the park again to exit the site.
A must visit is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. The circular building with a triple gable roof is where imperial ceremonies were performed, such as offering sacrifices and lighting incense to pray for good weather and abundant harvests. An interesting fact about this building is that it is made entirely of wood. No nails were used in its construction. This is remarkable just considering the size of the structure.
Tip 4: New Summer Palace
The Imperial Summer Palace in Beijing is considered the pinnacle of Chinese architecture and landscape design. Emperor Qianlong had it built around 1750 for his mother on her 60th birthday. Today, its gardens, pavilions and the adjacent Kunming Lake represent relaxation, harmony and beauty.
The name “Imperial Summer Palace” rather conveys an understated image of the gigantic complex in the Chinese capital Beijing.
The Imperial Summer Palace is located on an area of almost 3 square kilometers in northwest Beijing between the shores of Kunming Lake, which represents the female Yin, and the Hill of Longevity, which stands for the male Yang.
Culturally, the Summer Palace is so valuable because it optimally represents the philosophy and implementation of the unique Chinese art of garden design. The Chinese way of life can be understood 1:1 among the masterpieces of Chinese architecture and landscape design. Since 1998, it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tip 5: Lama Temple
Lama Temple (also called Yonghe Temple) was originally built as an imperial residence in the late 17th century. In 1744 it was converted into a Lamaist temple and is now one of the most famous Tibetan Buddhist temple complexes outside Tibet. The temple has five large prayer halls rich in Buddhist art, including sculptural images of deities, demons and Buddhas, as well as Tibetan-style murals.
The Lama Temple, a world-renowned temple of the Yellow Hats sect of Lamaism, is the largest and best-preserved temple complex in China. The temple is worth a visit when you visit Beijing because of its elaborate construction, such as the curved tiled roofs, decorative archways, and impressive statues, as well as its haunting history.