Beijing Architecture: Ancient and Contemporary

Written by | Travel

Whether you’re a student of the ancient or worship at the altar of the contemporary, Beijing’s massive capital city has wonders for your to explore.

The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor. In 1998, it was dedicated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Temple of Heaven is a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design which simply and graphically illustrates a cosmogony of great importance for the evolution of one of the world’s great civilizations.

GuanYin Hall

Emperor QianLong built the Buddhist GuanYin Hall for his mother to pray for her happiness and longevity. The hall and gates occupy an area of 1,260 square meters, and the whole is surrounded by water. In each compass direction there is an archway of glazed tiles. It is the largest palatial hall in the style of a square pavilion in China.

The Bird’s Nest

The Beijing National Stadium (affectionately known as the Bird’s Nest) is situated in Olympic Green Village, Chaoyang District. It was designed as the main stadium of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The gross cost of the whole project is 2,267 million Chinese yuan (about 33 million USD).

Aside form the Olympics’ Opening and Closing Ceremonies, several events of track and field, football, weight throw and discus were held there. Since October, 2008, after the Olympics ended, it has been opened as a tourist attraction. Now, it serves as the center of international or domestic sports competition and recreation activities.

Enjoy new highlights of travel photographer Edwin Santiago’s journeys each week.

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Last modified: October 1, 2019