As a celebrated international tourist center, Beijing is filled with spots of historical importance, from the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, to old mansions, religious shrines, and traditional hutong alleyways. Classical architecture is gracefully blended with modern structures. The old and new live alongside in peaceful harmony. More importance is placed on greenery and parks, trees, and flowers beautify the city. Whether you enjoy art, history, entertainment, or nightlife, Beijing is a must-see destination with Spring and Autumn being the best seasons for traveling in Beijing.
As a world-renowned ancient cultural city, Beijing is said to have been the home of the "Peking Man" about 500,000 years ago. Its history as a city dates from 1045 BC, over 3000 years ago. For a span of 1000 years, Beijing was the capital of China, to be specific, the provisional capital of the Liao Kingdom (916-1125) and the capital for Jin Kingdom (1115-1234), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) dynasties. During these five periods, 34 emperors ever lived and ruled here.
Most of what we see today in Beijing was built during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) when the huge city walls were repaired and redesigned. Yongle is credited with being the true architect of the modern city, and much of Beijing's hallmark architecture, such as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, date from his reign. The basic grid of present-day Beijing had been laid. A change of government came with the manchus, who established the Qing dynasty in 1644 and began to build numerous suburban gardens including the well-known Summer Palace. After extensive reconstruction during the Ming and Qing, Beijing emerged as an architectural masterpiece fit to serve as the capital of the Chinese empire.
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