Forbidden City

The Forbidden City (also known officially as the Imperial Palace Museum) was commissioned by the third Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Yong Le. The palace was built between 1406 and 1420, but was burnt down, rebuilt, sacked and renovated countless times, so most of the architecture you can see today dates from the 1700's and onwards. The Forbidden City was the seat of imperial power for 500 years, and is now a major tourist attraction in China. The total area of the complex is 183 acres, so it takes quite a while to walk through, especially if you want to have a close look at everything.

Great Wall

The Great Wall is an ancient work of defense in which it took the longest time to construct with the greatest quantity of work in China and in the world. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century. Later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Beijing is the best destination to admire the Great Wall of China. Most famous Great Wall sections are located in its suburban areas, including the well-preserved Badaling and Mutianyu, the renovated Juyonguan, Jinshanling and Simatai, and wild Jiankou and Gubeikou. They are all not far from downtown Beijing, 1-2 hours' driving away.

Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is undoubtedly one of Beijing's hottest attractions, offering a different experience for visitors in every season. Whether you're coming to whizz across its frozen lake in winter, soak up some sun in the spring or summer, or admire its splendid autumn colours, the palace makes for a fantastic day out. As far back as the Jin dynasty (1115-1234), the site of Beijing's Summer Palace was used as a spot for retreat, relaxation and even residence by imperial families and their entourage. Successive dynasties made their alterations and additions to its gardens, lakes, halls and pavilions, but it was during the late Qing Dynasty that it gained its current grandeur.

Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven was the place where the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship Heaven and pray for bumper crops. Built first in 1420 (the 18th year of Emperor Yongle's reign of the Ming Dynasty), and then expanded and reconstructed during the Ming Emperor Jiajing's reign and Qing Emperor Qianlong's reign, the Temple of Heaven is a grand and magnificent masterpiece of architecture with a formal and solemn environment. The Temple of Heaven with its long history, deep cultural content and magnificent architectural style mirrors the ancient culture of the Orient. A masterpiece of the Ming and Qing architectural art and a precious example of China's ancient architecture, the Temple of Heaven is the largest architectural group for worshipping Heaven in the world.
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