Unique Places in Beijing

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Beijing

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    Olympic Fever

    by solopes Updated Dec 17, 2013

    It was easy to notice the deep changes that the city was suffering, with the Olympic games boosting the fever of construction. We didn’t stop near the stadium and Olympic village, but, from the road, we could easily see some strange buildings, sharing the challenge made by the stadium.

    The "party" is over, and it would be interesting to see what did the games leave in Beijing. Another visit would be nice, but, being so far...

    Beijing - China
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    Houses of Summer Palace

    by solopes Updated Dec 12, 2013

    Everybody gets so dominated by the freshness and beauty of the gardens, that the temptation is to skip the houses, as a common detail.

    I think it would be wrong.

    More than in the Forbidden City, the houses here give a more lively idea of their use, and though more discreet, they are also good examples of Chinese architecture.

    Beijing - China Beijing - China
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    In the back of Forbidden City

    by solopes Updated Jan 10, 2013

    Mountains have a special importance in Chinese religion. That's why, in the flat Forbidden city, a pile of rocks simulates a mountain near the north exit.

    Looking further, we may see a real mount out of the city, with dense trees and a pagoda on the top. Was it connected with the palace? We had no time to explore it.

    Beijing - China
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    Iternet in beijing

    by Arimateia Updated Dec 18, 2012

    Well there´something really annoying with the internet acess in Beijing.
    They advertise the acess but don´t tell you some websites are blocked due to governmental policy of Internet censorship. Facebook, youtube and photo sharing sites are not acessible.

    Impossible to upload a photo while I´m still in beijing (I´ve just tried here)

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    The ditch

    by solopes Updated Dec 13, 2012

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    In the rush for entering the city, we had no time to see the walls and their defensive condition.

    Arriving to the north door, the exit is more calm, and it's possible to see the ditch that surrounds all the city, with the defensive towers in each corner.

    Beijing - China Beijing - China
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    Iternet in beijing

    by Arimateia Written Dec 6, 2012

    Well there´s omething really annoying with the internet acess in Beijing.
    They advertise the acess but don´t tell you some websites are blocked due to governmental policy of Internet censorship. Facebook, youtube and photo sharing sites are not acessible.

    Impossible to upload a photo while I´m still in beijing (I´ve just tried here)

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    A Church

    by solopes Updated Aug 22, 2012

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    Being in a package has its advantages but also some inconveniences. From Tienanmen square I noticed an interesting church, maybe Russian, eventually Byzantine, that I would visit if we weren't "pushed" towards the Forbidden City.

    A pity!
    Once back home I tried to read about it, but till now I couldn't identify it. Any help?

    Cal6060 wrote a comment in my profile page that clarifies everything:

    " Nice Beijing page! Humm.. " The Church" actually is the China Railway Museum. It was Beijing train station. Anyway , good guessing. "

    Thanks Richard, and I still feel sorry for loosing it!

    Beijing - China
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    Fasting Palace: Beamless Hall (Part II)

    by cal6060 Updated Aug 2, 2012

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    In the Beamless Hall, there are several ancient items that were used during ritual ceremonies. They include the following:

    1) Dragon Pavilion of Censer: "It is also called Five Offerings Pavilion. It is the biggest one of all the Dragon Pavilions in the Temple of Heaven." (Notes from signboard)

    In Chinese: 香炉龙亭 (Xiang Lu Long Ting)

    2) Dragon Pavilion of Prayers tablet: " It was used to carry prayers tablets from the Forbidden City to the Temple of Heaven during worshiping heaven ceremony. it is the finest Dragon Pavilion in the Temple of Heaven. There are altogether thirty-seven gold-plated engraved dragons in it. The Algae Well of the Dragon Pavilion is also splendid. " (Notes from Signboard)

    In Chinese: 祝版龙亭 (Zhu Ban Long Ting)

    3) Time Pavilion: " It is also known as Reporting Pavilion. Before the ceremony, officials from the Ritual Administration and Celestial Administration would deliver their report on the ritual schedule to officers in the Pavilion who would forward it to the emperor." (Notes from Signboard)

    In Chinese: 时辰亭 (Shi Chen Ting)

    4 Brass-figure Stone Pavilion: " The brass figure was placed here before the ritual was held. The figure has an abstinence tablet in hands to remind the emperor of loyalty during abstinence, hence the name of the pavilion. " (Notes from Signboard)

    NEXT: Living Hall & Bedroom

    In Chinese: 铜人亭 (Tong Ren Ting)

    Dragon Pavilion of Censer, Fasting Palace Dragon Pavilion of Prayers tablet, Fasting Palace Time Pavilion, Fasting Palace Brass-figure Stone Pavilion, Fasting Palace Brass-figure Stone Pavilion, Fasting Palace
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    Fasting Palace: Bell Tower

    by cal6060 Updated Aug 2, 2012

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    The Bell Tower is located southeast of Fasting Palace. This bell was used to announce the arrival and departure of the Emperor to/from the Fasting Palace. The signboard was written as:

    " In the early Ming Dynasty, the Palace of abstinence had wooded gallows for hanging a bronze bell, which was sounded to announce the arrival and departure of the emperor each time. In 1743 (the 8th year of Emperor Qianlong's reign), a two-storey tower was built for housing the gigantic bell, casting Yongle's reign, named the Bell of Supreme Harmony. With a thick large body, the bell sends its sonorous sounds far and wide when rung. Before the ritual too place, it used to be sounded to announce the departure of the emperor from the Palace of Abstinence and his arrival at the altar for the sacrificial rites. "

    NEXT: Beamless Hall (Part I)

    In Chinese: 钟楼 (Zhong Lou)

    Bell Tower, Fasting Palace Bell Tower, Fasting Palace Bell Tower, Fasting Palace
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    Fasting Palace: Beamless Hall (Part I)

    by cal6060 Updated Aug 2, 2012

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    Beamless Hall is the main building at the Fasting Palace, where emperor began the ritual ceremonies here before going to Temple of Heaven. The building is not that big, but it displays some important historical items in the hall, including the Dragon Pavilion of Censer and Dragon Pavilion of Prayers Tablet. Outside the hall, there are Time Pavilion and Brass-figure stone Pavilion which have significant function during the ritual ceremonies.

    The signboard was written as:

    " The Beamless Hall, main hall of the Fasting Palace, was built 1420 (the 18th year of Ming Yongle's reign). The name is derived from the fact that the hall is supported by a brick dome without any beam. The emperor used to hold ceremonial rituals here in his arrival and departure. Now the Hall displays all the furniture in the original place during Emperor Qianlong's reign. The placard board on the lintel bears the inscription "Admirable as Heaven" in Qianlong's handwriting; the articles such as the throne, the screens and eve Qianlong's ink brushes are all original objects and hence very precious. "

    NEXT: Beamless Hall (Part II)

    In Chinese: 无梁殿 (Wu Liang Dian)

    Beamless Hall, Fasting Palace Beamless Hall, Fasting Palace Beamless Hall, Fasting Palace Beamless Hall, Fasting Palace Beamless Hall, Fasting Palace
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    Temple of Heaven: Fasting Palace

    by cal6060 Updated Aug 2, 2012

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    Fasting Palace is hidden on the west side of Temple of Heaven Park. It is surrounded by tall trees, if not because of the signboard with directions, I don't think I could ever find it. This is a small palace surrounded by rivers and walls with gates. I was impress with the views around the gates and rivers. Inside the palace, there are Bell Tower, Beamless Hall, Living Hall and Bedroom for the Emperor.

    The signboard was written as:

    " The Palace of Abstinence, built in 1420 (the 18th year of Ming Emperor Yongle's reign), was the place where the emperor used to exercise abstinence from meat, drink, music, women, and dealing with state affairs three days before conducting sacrificial rites at the temple. The Palace, facing east and located southwest of the Altar of Prayer for Grains, is covered with green tiles symbolizing the emperor's obedience to Heaven. The square shaped Palace covers an area of 40,000 square metres. Within the Palace there are building for ritual, service and defensive such as Beamless Hall, bed chambers, a belfry, a stone pavilion housing a bronze statue (symbol of justice and righteousness), and rooms for guards and servants. The Palace with canonical layout and beautiful environment is girdled by a double wall and a double moat. "

    In Chinese: 斋宫 (Zhai Gong)

    Fasting Palace, Temple of Heaven Fasting Palace, Temple of Heaven Fasting Palace, Temple of Heaven Fasting Palace, Temple of Heaven Fasting Palace, Temple of Heaven
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    Temple of Heaven Park

    by cal6060 Updated Aug 2, 2012

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    During my 2011 trip to Beijing, I was staying near the Temple of Heaven. On 8/10/11, I had a morning walk to the Temple of Heaven Park. Temple of Heaven is one of the must-see attractions in Beijing, but most tourists are most likely to miss the Park and Fasting Palace on the west side of Temple of Heaven. The park is so huge with so many trees, gates, walls, benches, pavilions, buildings, etc. The locals love to come here to hang out with their friends doing sport like Tai Chi, dancing, Ping Pong Tennis, and etc. You can either hide yourself inside the tree forests surrounded by trees or enjoy public performances or singing in the crowd at Temple of Heaven Park. I continued to wonder around, and managed to see the following favorite sites:

    1) Fasting Palace - In my review.
    2) Divine Music Administration - In my review.
    3) Double-Ring-shaped Longevity Pavilion - In my review.
    4) Fan-Shaped Pavilion - In my review.
    5) Column Foundation of the Sacrificial Hall -In my review.

    Admission to the Park without any attractions: Y15
    Admission to Fasting Palace + Divine Music Administration: Y10

    In Chinese: 天坛公园 (Tian Tan Gong Yuan)

    Temple of Heaven Park, Beijing Temple of Heaven Park, Beijing Temple of Heaven Park, Beijing Temple of Heaven Park, Beijing Temple of Heaven Park, Beijing
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    Fan-Shaped Pavilion

    by cal6060 Written Nov 19, 2011

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    Fan-Shaped Pavilion is located right opposite to Double-Ring-Shaped Longevity Pavilion. This Fan Shaped Pavilion is small, but has unique shape to enhance the beauty of Temple Of Heaven Park.

    The signboard was written as:

    " In a unique and grotesque shape with the front narrow and the rear broad, the pavilion is refined and complex in structure. Its structure shows the form of an ancient foldable fan. It is one of the unique structure in the traditional garden of ancient Chine. "

    In Chinese: 扇亭 (Shan Ting)

    Fan-Shaped Pavilion, Temple of Heaven Fan-Shaped Pavilion, Temple of Heaven
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    Double-Ring-Shaped Longevity Pavilion

    by cal6060 Written Nov 19, 2011

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    As I walked around the Temple of Heaven Park, I noticed this beautiful Pavilion with interesting roofs like the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. It matches so well with the surrounding green trees and plants.

    The signboard was written as:

    " The Double-Ring-Shaped Longevity Pavilion, strict and unique in structure, and gracious and elegant in style, is composed of two linked-up round pavilions each with a double eave and malachite blue glazed tile roof. A masterpiece of ancient architecture, it is unique among the ancient architectural structures in China. It was originally located in the Middle and South Seas. It is said that Hongli, Emperor Qianlong, had it built in 1741 (the 6th year of Qing Emperor Dowager's 50th birthday. Its plane shape symbolized a pair of peaches and the stairways in front of the pavilion look like the tips of the two peaches-all symbolically meaning "Harmony, auspiciousness and longevity". It was transferred here in 1975. "

    In Chinese: 双环万寿亭 (Shuang Huan Wan Shou Ting)

    Double-Ring-Shaped Longevity Pavilion Double-Ring-Shaped Longevity Pavilion Double-Ring-Shaped Longevity Pavilion Double-Ring-Shaped Longevity Pavilion Double-Ring-Shaped Longevity Pavilion
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    Divine Music Administration (Part II)

    by cal6060 Written Nov 19, 2011

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    After visiting the museum at Divine Music Administration, I found the history of this place is very interesting as a music training institution in the ancient China. The signboard was written as:

    " The Divine Music Administration is one of the major architectures of the Temple of Heaven. Located on the west side of the temple, it served as a place for rehearsing music used in sacrificial ceremonies during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was praised as the highest institution of the ceremonial music in the two dynasties. The Divine Music Administration was first built in the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Yongle in the Ming Dynasty (A.D 1420). At that time it was called the Taoist Temple of Divine Music, also known as the Taoist Court of the Temple of Heaven. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Taoist Temple of Divine Music boasted many grand halls with beautiful environments. There were even tea houses and drug stores in the temple. In the 8th year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong (A.D. 1743), the Taoist Temple of Divine Music was renamed "Institute of Divine Music," then again renamed as "Divine Music Administration" in 1754. After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, it was ravaged by the Eight-Power Allied Forces and Japanese aggressor troops. Nearly all the buildings in the Administration were destroyed. After the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, the Administration's courtyard was occupied by residents from the surrounding neighborhood. They built many makeshift buildings in the courtyard. The Divine Music Administration was thus lost amid the residential houses.
    Over recent years, various social circles have shown concern over the state of the Divine Music Administration. Many experts and scholars called for the rescue of the Administration. Also some leading officials of the Beijing Municipal Government went on inspection tours of the Administration to solve relevant problems. In August 2004, the rebuilt Divine Music Administration was renamed Exhibition rooms of Ancient Imperial Music" and officially opened to the public. "

    " In the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Divine Music Administration was the place for training ritual servicemen and performers of Zhonghe Shaoyue music. All the officials and servicemen were expected to attend exacting rehearsals at the Divine Music Administration so that imperial sacrificial ceremonies would be disciplined in ritual, music, song and dance. The Divine Music Administration kept many different types of tutors to train the performers. During the Ming and early Qing dynasties the performers were Taoists, but performers were selected from clever Manchu children of the Eight Banners., a hereditary elite guard servant to the Emperor and imperial princes. They were called the " Heaven-Worshiping Children."

    Divine Music Administration, Beijing Divine Music Administration, Beijing Divine Music Administration, Beijing Divine Music Administration, Beijing Divine Music Administration, Beijing
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