Mutianyu Great Wall

Mu Tian Yu Great Wall – Chinese Longest Great Wall

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Mutianyu Great Wall Facts


Mutiayu Great Wall in Huairou District of Beijing is the so far longest great wall in China. It is a precious great wall of Ming dynasty with fewer tourists, fascinating natural sightseeing, fantastic architectural structure, and intensive enemy towers, etc. Mutianyu great wall has significant historic influence in China.

Type: World Heritage Site, Ancient Ruins, Hiking Trails, Outdoor Activities, National AAAA Tourist Spot
Best Seasons: Spring/Autumn; particularly for April, May, September and October
Recommended Visiting Time: half day
Opening Hours: 07:30-17:30
Tickets: RMB 45
Address: Baohai Town, Huairou District, Beijing, China

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Brief Introduction of Mutianyu Great Wall


Mutianyu Great Wall (慕田峪长城), built in 5400 m long, is regarded as the “Essence of Great Wall in Ming Dynasty”. This great wall, linking Gubeikou (古北口) in the east and Juyongguan (居庸关) in the west, was served as the vital military strategic point from the ancient time. Moreover, Mutianyu section is the “longest great wall in China” so far and since protection work is well done here, tourists can now see its original appearance and enjoy the real ancient culture of great wall. Also, spectacular natural scenery in Mutianyu Great Wall always impresses visitors here for its abundant vegetation.

History of Mutianyu Great Wall


Mutianyu was originally a small mountain village before with fluctuating mountains and lush trees. For its vital and special situation, Mutianyu had been an important martial barrier for long time. And till Ming dynasty, a series of war broke out. In order to protect the national capital and the imperial mausoleum of Ming dynasty, the Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (朱元璋) ordered his general Xu Da (徐达) to build this great wall in 1368. Although Mutianyu Great Wall has experience damages and reparation for several times, it is the most-preserved section of great wall relics of Ming dynasty.

Unique features of Mutianyu Great Wall


Mutianyu Great Wall has its features both in the architecture and the sightseeing, which is why it is called the outstanding great wall. And with much fewer tourists, you can totally appreciate the beauty of this good place.

Precious Great Wall from Ming Dynasty

Great Wall of the Ming dynasty is a world miracle for its magnificent vigor. Differing from other great walls, especially the Great Wall built by the first Emperor of Qin, great wall of the Ming dynasty is built to prevent the disturbance of the rulers of nomadic people from the northern China. It is also the unique one of longest construction period, hugest project, and the most complete defense system in Chinese history. And Mutianyu Great Wall is regarded as the “Essence of Great Wall of the Ming dynasty” for its imposing and very solid characters.

Densely Placed Watchtowers

The distance between the Great Watchtower and Zhengguantai (正关台) is only less than 500 m, but there sets 4 watchtowers. And there are even 25 watchtowers of different purpose built within the only 3,000 m section. It is rare to see a watchtower about every 100 m in a section of a great wall.

Charming Scenery

Mutianyu Great Wall enjoys diverse beautiful scenery in four seasons for its very high vegetation coverage of over 96 %. In spring, you can appreciate the flower sea of many kinds and multiple colors; when summer comes, the whole scenic area is changed into green with running streams, which is a super spot for eye-pleasure and soul-cooling; In the fall, all the red leaves on the mountain paint Mutianyu a charming shining place and delicious fruits are ripe, and people call it the golden Beijing; While in winter, the white snow cover this area into a gorgeous lady in a silver evening gown, and it is a great time to see the beauty of northern China.

Most Well-preserved Primate Great Wall

Most sections of Mutianyu Great Wall are perfectly protected since long ago. Therefore, visitors can see the authentic look of this kind of historic site, from the magnificent watchtowers, walls of layers of bricks to the ancient pass paved by the hardworking ancients. Walking on the old way, you can both know the strong culture of great wall and the wisdom of ancient Chinese people and feel the labor and pain while constructing this great project.

Full Stereoscopic Impression

Another feature of Mutianyu Great Wall shows in its stereoscopic impression upon visitors, since it was built near the mountains and this is the real essence. Some parts rise for 533 m within 10 towers. Though some sections are gently fluctuate, the whole great wall rises and falls like a flying giant dragon.

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Densely Placed Watchtowers in Mutianyu Great Wall

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Lush Summer Scenery at Mutianyu Great Wall

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Golden Autumn of Mutianyu Great Wall

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Super Steep Way up along Mutianyu Great Wall

Shining Places to See in Mutianyu Great Wall


Zhengguan Tai

Zhengguan Tai is also called Mutianyu Gate. It is rarely seen in the architectural history of great wall for there are three watchtowers existing side by side together. This gate built in 1404 AD, 40 m long, 30 wide, and 20 high, enjoyed a key strategic position at that time. One side is the garrison of the Xiongnu (匈奴) people outside the great wall, one way reaches the downtown of ancient Beijing city, and the left one serves as the shortcut to the Imperial Mausoleum.

The Great Watchtower

The Great Watchtower, located at the commanding height at the east side of Mutianyu Gate, is a very famous spot in this scenic area. It is characteristic in its possession of great walls in three sides, and from any angle, you can see it like the corner of a city gate. For its special high position, you just could completely have a panoramic viewer of the inside and outside of the great wall.

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Zhengguai Tai at Mutianyu Great Wall

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The Great Watchtower of Mutianyu Great Wall

Things to Do in Mutianyu Great Wall


Hiking

It is especially meaningful and unforgettable to take a hike on Mutianyu Great Wall. You can feel the painstaking process of ancient laborers who built this masterpiece by laying the heavy bricks one by one, while climbing higher step by step. Furthermore, you can get stuck in the picturesque scenery along the way up, with blossoms, lush trees, splendid view of clouds, etc.

Photography

Mutianyu Great Wall is a worth-going place for shutterbug. They can get a close shot of the historic project of treasure that is perfectly kept till now. Moreover, the fascinating sightseeing from the colorful spring, emerald summer, to the golden autumn and the niveous winter, all make you satisfied with your shoot.

Toboggan

Since Mutianyu Great Wall Scenic Area provides the standard slide way for tourists, people can take a try to get a distinct feel. As this great wall has steep topography, it is very exciting to take a toboggan, rising and falling along the mountain. This very safe tool will drive all your stress away and make you enjoyable.

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Mutianyu Great Wall Hiking

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Mutianyu Toboggan

Recommended Route to Visit Mutianyu Great Wall


Tourists can choose diverse routes to visit Mutianyu Great Wall. If you want to hike this masterpiece, you can just walk from the entrance to the 6th Watchtower to see the Great Watchtower in different angles, and hike your way up to appreciate the beautiful full view of this area between the 14th and the 23rd Watchtower.

If you want to only enjoy the sightseeing, you can take the cable car directly up to the 14th Watchtower.

And if you are attempting to experience the exciting toboggan, you can start near the South Ticket Entrance up to the 6th Watchtower.

Location & How to Get to Mutianyu Great Wall


Situated 80 km from the northeast of Beijing downtown, it needs about 1 hour and a half to drive from the downtown of Beijing to Mutianyu Great Wall.

Travel with China Discovery (Top Recommended)

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Mutianyu Great Wall with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

Independent Travel

If you want to get here by yourself, you can take a bus to Huairou District and then choose a private car to Mutianyu Great Wall Tourist Area.

Useful Tips


What to pack

Take enough cloths while visiting here in winter since the temperature on the mountain is lower than that in downtown Beijing;

Take sunglasses to prevent the dazzling solar glare;

Well prepare your camera to take beautiful pictures.

Mutianyu Great Wall has gained good review from visitors because it is less crowded than Badaling Great Wall and has better infrastructures than Jinshanling Great Wall.

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Mutianyu Cable Car

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Location Maps of Mutianyu Great Wall

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Tourist Map of Mutianyu Great Wall

Source: chinadiscovery

Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall – Masterpiece among All Great Walls

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Badaling Great Wall Facts


Badaling Great Wall is very popular among both domestic and foreign travelers because it is not only can be reached from Beijing easily, but also the best representative section of all Great Wall of China. It used to play a significant role in ancient Chinese history.

Type: World Heritage Site, Ancient Ruins, Hiking Trails, Outdoor Activities
Best Seasons: Spring/Autumn
Recommended Visiting Time: half day
Opening Hours: Apr to Oct: 06:30 ~ 19:00 / Nov to Mar: 07:00 ~ 18:00
Tickets: Apr to Oct: ¥50 / Nov to Mar: ¥45
Address: Badaling Timberland, Fangshan District, Beijing 102112, China

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Why is Badaling Great Wall So Special – Facts


As the highlighting section of Great Wall also an important historical site in China, Badaling Great Wall (八达岭长城) has earned many brilliant reputations and favors from all over the world. Thousands of tourists swarm to Badaling Great Wall to witness its significance each month. Many famous politicians are also attracted to admire the Badaling Great Wall by its great reputations.

  1. Listed as World Cultural Heritage Site by UESCO
  2. Known as one of the New Seven World Wonders
  3. Most representative section of Ming Great Wall
  4. First section of Great Wall opened for tourists
  5. Most visited by famous international figures

Where is Badaling Great Wall – Location


Badaling Great Wall is located in Yanqing (延庆) County about 60km northwest from Beijing City. Being strategically located and difficult of access, it used to be the vital defensive pass for the capital city – Beijing.

  • 10 km from Badaling Great Wall Ruin
  • 15 km from Juyongguan Great Wall
  • 44 km from Ding Tomb
  • 67 km from Bird Net
  • 77 km from Tiananmen Square

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Badaling Great Wall Location Map

How to go to Badaling Great Wall


From Beijing downtown, travelers can transfer to Badaling great wall with flexible choices of transportation.

Travel with China Discovery (Top Recommended)

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Badaling Great Wall with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

Independent Travel

For independent travelers, you can take public bus (998) at Deshengmen. The transfer takes about 90 minutes from Beijing City to Badaling. There are scheduled high speed trains as another choice – S2 usually depart from Beijing North Railway Station to Yanqing County. Passengers can get off at Badaling Train Station which is the penultimate stop of line S2. Frequent and flexible schedules are offered for you to choose.

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Train to Badaling Great Wall

History of Badaling Great Wall


Before Ming Dynasty

“Shih Chi” (史记) and other Chinese historical records have proved that there used to be some ancient walls built during the Warring States Period (战国时期475-221BC). Nearly 1,500 years ago, North Wei Dynasty (北魏) constructed great wall which started from Badaling to the western bank of Yellow River (黄河). The later kingdom North Qi (北齐) expanded the great wall to the eastern region near to the sea.

Ming Dynasty

Ming Dynasty moved capital to Beijing during the reign of Yongle Emperor (永乐皇帝). To prevent the evasion and guard the capital Beijing, Ming Empire spent more than 80 years to rebuild the Badaling Great Wall as an important part of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall which started from Jiayuguan Pass (嘉峪关) on the western China to the Yalu River (鸭绿江) on the eastern China with a total length of more than 6,300 km. Unlike the former dynasties, Ming attached great importance to the project, and was much strict with every detail, including the wall structure, materials, etc. So the walls built in Ming Dynasty were much stronger and more solemn than walls in any other periods.

Restoration

Due to the constant wars and natural corrosion of more than 500 years, more than 30% of Great Walls are damaged. To preserve the great wall well, a project was launched in 1953 to restore the fortress and some parts of the walls. After several times of restoration, more than 3,741 meters’ wall are now available for tourists, including 16 towers and one fortress.

What are the features of Badaling Great Wall


Badaling Great Wall fully embodies the strategic role of military defense. The walls were constructed on cliffy mountain ranges without interrupt. Defense towers, watching towers, beacon towers connect walls together and stretch to far away. In the ancient time, Badaling Great Wall is the outer defense of Juyongguan Pass.

Walls

Compared to other sections of Great Wall, such as Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Badaling Great Wall is featured in wider and higher walls which are usually 6~9 meters high and 6.5~7.5 meters wide, available for 5 houses or 10 solders to get through simultaneously.

Fortress

The Great Wall is divided into many sections by the fortress. The fortress of Badaling Great Wall is middle-sized shaping like a trapezoid compared to Jiayuguan and Juyongguan. The walls are tall and strong (approximately 20 meters wide, 8 meters high) for soldiers to fight against the invaders. Two high dominating on the fortress allows the guarding solders to observe enemies from far distance. The fortress has two gates which are famous for their historical inscriptions (eastern gate: 居庸外镇 – Ju Yong Wai Zhen; western gate: 北门锁钥 – Bei Men Suo Yue).

Towers

There are more than 43 towers on the Badaling Great Wall taking charging of different roles with diverse exteriors and interiors, such as towers for guarding and watching, signaling, battling, camping, etc. So far, only four towers on the southern section and 8 towers on the northern section of Badaling Great Wall are opened for tourist.

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Wall of Badaling Section

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Fortress of Badaling Great Wall

Recommended Visiting Route


If you want to hike the Badaling great wall, you can start to hike from the fortress to the connecting location of southern section and northern section from which you need to first hike one section, and then return the same way to another section. The southern section is short with 4 towers, while the northern section has 8 towers. If you want to save energy and time, you can take cableway directly to the No. 7 Towers on the northern section, then walk to the southern section.

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Badaling Great Wall Tourist Map

Other nearby Sites


If you want to explore nearby of Badaling, there are several places to go. You can go to learn the history and other facts of the whole Great Wall of China in the Great Wall Museum, or enjoy a documentary movie about great wall in the theatre. There is also a Bear Zoo with wonderful show performed by black bears.

Classic one day’s Route to Badaling Great Wall


Travelers usually need to transfer about 60km (approximately 1h) from Beijing downtown to Badaling Great Wall where you can stay about a half day. The rest time is for you to travel back to downtown with a side trip to explore the imperial mausoleum of Ming Dynasty – Ding Tomb. You will also stop at Olympic Village to see the brilliant stadiums – Bird Net and Water Cube.

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Ding Tomb

Useful Tips


Best time to go – seasonal advice – Different views in different season

March to May & September to November is the best time to visit Badaling Great Wall. It is warm and comfortable in spring with fewer crowds. Red and golden leaves spread around great walls in autumn. The great walls are stunning when the snow covers the entire northern China.

What to pack

Since the great walls are built on lofty mountains, one is suggested to wear comfortable and light shoes. Sunblock, sun glasses are recommended in summer days.

Ticket & Fee

The entry ticket: Apr to Oct: ¥50 / Nov to Mar: ¥45

Cableway: one way – ¥80 / round trip – ¥100

Source: chinadiscovery

Summer Palace

Summer Palace – Best Royal Garden in China

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About Summer Palace


Summer Palace is now a public park, but used to be the private garden for Royal families of Qing Dynasty to decamp during the hot summer days. It has assembled almost the best design, skill and classic features of traditional gardening architecture of ancient China.

Type: World Heritage Site, Royal Garden, Architectural Buildings, Parks
Best Seasons: Spring/Autumn
Recommended Visiting Time: 3~4 hours
Opening Hours: Apr to Oct: 06:30 ~ 18:00 / Nov to Mar: 07:00 ~ 17:00
Tickets: Apr to Oct: ¥30 / Nov to Mar: 20¥
Address: 19 Xin Jian Gong Men Rd, Haidian District, Beijing 100084, China

Brief Impression about Summer Palace – Facts


Located on the western outskirts, Summer Place (颐和园) is one of the most popular attractions in Beijing. Just as its name implies, the palace is the place of emperors and his families of Qing Dynasty for summer retreat. Not only the landscape, but also the designs of Summer Palace are the best masterpieces among all the ancient gardens. Constructed around the Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, Summer Palace is a vast complex of gardens, palaces, lakes and hills.

On December 2nd, 1998, UNESCO announced the Summer Palace as a World Heritage Site with the declaration “a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design”. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a “harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value”.

Location & Transportation


Where is Summer Palace

Summer Palace is located in Haidian District (海淀区), approximately 15km away from the central Beijing, adjacent to Yuanmingyuan Garden (圆明园), Tsinghua University (清华大学) and Peking University (北京大学).

About 21 km from Temple of Heaven
About 19 km from Forbidden City
About 20 km from Tiananmen Square
Transfer to/off Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is usually covered in a full day’s visiting of Beijing tour package with other famous sites, such as Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven. The package includes convenient and private transfer, which is helpful and more enjoyable for you to focus on sightseeing.

If you prefer independent travel, you can take the subway Line 4 to the northern gate or eastern gate of Summer Palace. There are also many public buses available for you to transfer to or off the Summer Palace, such as 209, 330, 331, 332, 346, etc.

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History of Summer Palace


Built by Emperor Qianlong

To irrigate royal gardens in western region outside the Forbidden City, the emperor Qianlong (乾隆) o ordered to expand the West Lake in 1750, and renamed the lake as Kunming Lake. The excavated earth from the expansion was moved to pile the Jar Hill which later was renamed as Longevity Hill (长寿山). In 1764, Qianlong gave the order again to construct a real garden around the Kunming Lake with the blueprint of the famous West Lake in Hangzhou. The garden, firstly named “Qingyiyuan” (清漪園; “Gardens of Clear Ripples””), was themed by an ancient Chinese mythology about three holy mountains in the East Sea. So the artisans built three islands in the lake to represent the three mountains – Nanhu Island, Tuancheng Island and Zaojiantang Island. Many constructions in the palace imitated the designs of other famous sites around China, including Yueyang Tower (岳阳楼) in Hunan, Yellow Crane Tower (黄鹤楼) in Hubei, shopping streets in Suzhou and Yangzhou.

Destruction and Restoration

In 1860, the end of the Second Opium War, allied army of British and French destructed large parts of Qingyiyuan Palace. During 1884~1895, the empress Dowager Cixi (慈溪太后) rebuilt the palace and gave the present Chinese name “Yiheyuan” (颐和园). In 1900, the army of the Eight-Nation Alliance invaded Beijing again, and destroyed the Summer Palace. Many artifacts stored in the palace were looted. Two years later, the palace was restored again under the order of empress Cixi. Since then, the Summer Palace has been preserved well, and served as a public park till today.

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Summer Palace in Qing Dynasty

Attractions & Things to do in Summer Palace


The Summer Palace can functionally be divided into three zones. The first, represented by the solemn Renshou Palace, is the administrative zone where the empress Cixi and emperor Guangxu deal with the daily affairs and hold diplomatic activities. The second, represented by Leshou Palace, Yulan Palace and Yiyun Palace, is the living zone of Cixi, Guangxu and his princesses. The third zone is the largest as well as the most important part playing the role as entertaining, gardening and sightseeing, surrounded the Longevity Hill, including the highlighting sites Foxiang Pavilion, Paiyun Pavilion, 17-Arch Bridge, etc.

Attractions You can’t Miss Out


Renshou Palace – Hall of Benevolence and Longevity (仁寿殿): Situated at the left side of the entrance of eastern gate. It used to be the place where court sessions were held during the reign of Qianlong Emperor and Guangxu Emperor (光绪皇帝).

Leshou Palace – Hall of Joy and Longevity (乐寿堂). Facing the Kunming Lake, back against the Longevity Hill, Leshou Palace was the palace where empress Cixi lived.

Yulan Palace – Hall of Jade Billows (玉澜堂): Located west of Renshou Palace, Yulan Palace served as the living quarters of the Qing emperors. The empress Cixi once confined the emperor Guangxu here for 10 years.

Longevity Hill – this 58-meter high hill is the seat of some most important buildings of Summer Palace located on the front and back hills, including Paiyun Pavilion (排云殿), Foxiang Pavilion (佛香阁) and some Tibetan Buddhist temples.

Kunming Lake (昆明湖) – it is the body lake, and covers more than 3/4 the entire size of Summer Palace. Three small islands sit in the lake standing for three holy mountains in ancient mythology legend. Many buildings, such as bridge, dikes, imitated the features of those of West Lake in Hangzhou.

Foxiang Pavilion – this 41-meter high pavilion is a Buddhist temple for royal families to worship to the Buddha in Qing Dynasty. It has 8 stories, was propped up by 8 huge wooden pillars. The design and decoration inside is fabulous.

Long Corridor (长廊) – it lies at the southern foot of Longevity Hill facing the Kunming Lake. The corridor is regarded as the longest of its kind in the world with a total length of 728 meters. More than 14,000 paintings of famous places and known story from legends, folktales, novels, and so on, hang on the corridor.

Suzhou Street (苏州街) – the emperor Qianlong were keen on the prosperity of Jiangnan (Suzhou, Hangzhou, etc.), so he built the imitated shopping street resembling Shantang Street in Suzhou. Eunuch and maids in the royal palace acted as retailers when the emperors shop on the street.

17-Arch Bridge (十七孔桥) – 8 meters wide and 150 meters long, the bridge is the largest and longest bridge in the Summer Palace with 17 different types of arches. It incorporates features of the Precious Belt Bridge in Suzhou and the Lugou Bridge in Beijing.

Recommended Activities in Summer Palace

Boating is very popular among travelers especially families with kids. The Kunming Lake covers vastly allowing you to enjoy the fascinating landscape with slow pace on the boat. But it is not available during winter because the lake usually is frozen.

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Kunming Lake

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Long Corridor

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17-Arch Bridge

Recommended Visiting Route


Classic Route

There are three entrances – Eastern Gate, Northern Gate and New Palace Gate. Travelers usually enter into the park from the Eastern Gate, then sightsee sites around, such as Renshou Palace, Wenchang Temple, etc. Then stroll around to the living zone of Royal families of Qing Empire. Don’t miss the Yulan Palace, Leshou Palace and Yiyun Palace. Then go to explore the famous Long Corridor. Next is to visit some important architecture on the Longevity Hill, such as Paiyun Pavilion, Foxiang Pavilion, etc. Lastly, take a boat to the Nanhu Island to see the 17-Arch Bridge, and exist from New Palace Gate. The entire sightseeing takes about 3 hours to go through.

Extension Route

If time allows, you can extend your visit to the western dam region which is featured in different type of bridges. The back hill of Longevity Hill also offers many interesting sites, such as the Suzhou Street, Xiequ Garden (Garden of Harmonious Pleasures), etc. If you are interested in Tibetan Buddhism, don’t miss the Four Great Regions which resembles the Samye Monastery in Tibet.

Nearby Places to Go

Summer Palace region is also famous for having two most famous universities in China – Tsinghua and Peking both of which have long history and outstanding reputation throughout China. Addition to the youth and vigour, Tsinghua and Peking Universities are also a pleasant place for exploring some ancient historical sites and peaceful nature.

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Peking University

Useful Tips


Best time to go – seasonal advice – Different views in different season

September and October are best months to visit Summer Palace. The autumn here is cool, neither too cold nor too hot. Spring is pleasant. Summer is usually hot and rainy, but a good season to enjoy the prosperous nature as well as the best time for boating on the Kunming Lake. If you want to see some spectacular views of Summer Palace, winter is the time when the snow covers the pavilions, towers, bridges – peaceful and pure.

Ticket & Fee

Apr to Oct: ¥30 / Nov to Mar: 20¥

Notes:

  1. The price doesn’t include the boating and entry fees for Wenchang Temple(¥20), Dehe Garden(¥5), Foxiang Pavilion(¥10) and Danning Hall(¥10);
  2. Joint Ticket charges ¥60(Apr to Oct) and ¥50(Nov to Mar), and covers the entry fees for Wenchang Temple, Dehe Garden, Foxiang Pavilion and Danning Hall.

Service & Facility

Summer Palace offers tour guide service for different language travelers, including English, Russian, French, etc. Self-service audio explanation is also available.

There are also places for dinning and shopping, including 3 Chinese restaurants, several artwork shops. Barrier-free washroom and path are available.

Source: chinadiscovery

 

 

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven – Brilliant World Heritage Site

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About Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is the best place in Beijing to explore the traditional royal sacrificial culture of ancient China. At the same time, it is a pleasant place for leisure stay of walking or sightseeing, also for exploration of local culture.

Type: World Heritage Site, Historic Sites, Parks, Sights & Landmarks
Best Seasons: Spring/Autumn
Recommended Visiting Time: 1~2 hours
Opening Hours: Apr to Oct: 06:00 ~ 20:00 / Nov to Mar: 06:30 ~ 21:00
Tickets: ¥15 / Nov to Mar: ¥10
Address: Tiantan Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100050, China


Brief Impression about Temple of Heaven – Facts

The Temple of Heaven (天坛) is one of the most brilliant ancient architectures in China. It is also an outstanding masterpiece of classic imperial buildings throughout Chinese history. The site was firstly built in 1420 by Yongle Emperor (永乐皇帝), then expanded by the subsequent emperors of both Ming and Qing Dynasty, and had served as the holy place for emperors to pay homage to Heaven and to pray for a year of rich harvest.

Compared with all other sacrificial sites in the world, the Temple of Heaven is the largest not only in the size and scale, but also the forms and traditions. In 1998, the UNESCO listed the Temple of Heaven in the World Heritage Sites List with description as “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…”

Location & Transportation


Where is the Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is located in the central area of Beijing City which is also the attraction-gathering region. The famous Forbidden City (Palace Museum) and Tiananmen Square are conveniently situated at the northwest of Temple of Heave within short walking distance.

  • 6 km from Forbidden City
  • 5 km from Tiananmen Square
  • 21 km from Summer Palace
  • 75 km from Badaling Great Wall
  • 6.5 km from Jingshan Park

Transfer to/around Temple Heaven

The visit of Temple of Heaven takes about 1~2 hours, so it is usually recommended to tour with other sites in Beijing city, such as the Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace or Hutongs as a full day tour package which has covered convenient and private transfer to and around the Temple of Heaven.

Subway and public buses are also available for independent travelers. You can take subway Line 5, and exist at Tiantan Dongmen Station which is only several minutes’ walking away from the East Gate of Temple of Heaven. Many buses pass by the park, including 120, 17, 2, 35, 36, 504, 53, etc.

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Temple of Heaven Location Map

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Temple of Heaven in Qing Dynasty

Architectural Art, Layout & Geomantic Omen


Layout

The Temple of Heaven is featured in precise structure, peculiar design and magnificent decoration. Covering more than 267 hectares (660 acres), the Temple of Heaven is the general reference of Huanqiu Altar (圜丘) and Qigu Altar(祈谷) which locate separately at an axle path from south to north – Danbi Bridge (丹陛桥). The most important building of Huanqiu Altar is Huangqiongyu Pavillion (皇穹宇). Qigu Altar has Qinian Pavilion (祈年殿), Huangqian Pavilion (皇乾殿) and Qinian Gate (祈年门), etc.

Ancient Chinese mythology believed the Heaven is circle and the Earth is square, which is fully embodied in the design of Temple Heaven. Two long-sketching cordons of wall surrounded the temple complex. The southern outer wall was built like a taller semi-circular representing Heaven. While the northern wall is shorter, rectangular, stands for the Earth. Both the Huanqiu Altar and Qigu Altar are round, and stand on two square yards.

The brilliant artisans of Qing Dynasty built supernatural sites – Echo Wall, Three-Sound Stone, and Conversation Stone according to the science of acoustics.

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Layout of Temple of Heaven

Architectural Art, Layout & Geomantic Omen


Important Buildings in the Park

Qinian Hall (Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests) is most magnificent building in the Temple of Heaven. It is a wooden triple-gable circular pavilion which is 38 meters high with a three-level marble stone base. The ancient emperors prayed for good harvests here. There are 28 pillars propping up the hall. The inner 4 pillars are large, and stand for four seasons. The middle 12 pillars represent the twelve months. The outer 12 pillars indicate 12 periods of a day.

Huangqiongyu Hall (The Imperial Vault of Heaven) is smaller with only one circular gable and one level of marble stone base compared with Qinian Hall. It is the place to enshrine the worshiping tablets of Gods. Inside the hall are pillars and vault decorated by beautiful paintings and carvings. Outside is a circular wall – Echo Wall which can transmit sounds over long distances.

Huanqiu Altar (The Circular Mound Altar) is an empty circular platform with three levels of marble stones. Vivid dragons were carved on the stones to stand for the emperors. The number nine stands for power as well as the emperors in ancient China. You will surprisedly find the balusters and steps are either the sacred number nine or its multiples. In the ancient time, the emperors burn the offerings for Heaven in a stove on the platform.

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Inside Qinian Hall

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Huangqiongyu Hall

Local Folk & Activities

The Temple of Heaven is divided into two parts – public park area and tourist area. The public area now serves as an entertaining and morning exercise place for locals, and is open from early morning to later night. People living near usually like to take exercise or take part in folk activities in the park, such as running, cycling, playing Tai Chi. You can spare some time to stroll leisurely in the park to get involved in the interested activities, or just experience the peaceful atmosphere of local people’s living.

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Local Acitivities in Temple of Heaven

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Temple of Heaven Tourist Map

Sacrificial Culture of Temple of Heaven


In the ancient China, the emperors attached great importance on the sacrifice to the Heaven because they are believed to be the son of Heaven. They ruled the county on behalf of Heaven.

To show their respect and gratefulness to the Heaven, the emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties moved from Forbidden City to encamp in the Temple of Heaven with their retunes twice a year. The emperor would pray to Heaven for good harvests on the altar. Grand ceremony must be held perfectly, because the smallest mistake would bring bad luck for the whole nation in the next years.

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Sacrificial Ceremony in Temple of Heaven

Useful Tips


Best time to go – seasonal advice – Different views in different season

March to May and September to November is the best time to visit the Temple of Heaven. But actually the Temple of Heaven is suitable for travel all year around. You can see the blooming lilac during the middle April. In summer days, the whole park is decorated by flourishing green trees. The cool autumn is the best season when the sky is clear and blue. Winter is cold, but you can get rid of the crowds, and focus on exploring the fabulous architectures.

Ticket & Fee

Apr to Oct: ¥35 / Nov to Mar: ¥30

Notes: Note: the price include both the entrance fee and tickets for sites for Qigu Altar and Huanqiu Altar(¥20), Sacrificial Music Hall and Fast Palace (¥10).

Tour Guide Service

Independent travelers can rent the self-service audio guide device at the four gates of Temple of Heaven (Chinese, Cantonese, English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean). You can also hire a personal tour guide in the park to get more detailed explanation.

Source: chinadiscovery

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square – Largest Public Square in the World

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Tiananmen Square Facts


Tiananmen Square is the heart of Beijing City and the largest center plaza in the world. As a site of many important events, Tiananmen Square enjoys a great political, historical and cultural significance.

Type: Historical Sites, Architectural Buildings, Museum, Interest & Landmarks
Best Seasons: All seasons
Recommended Visiting Time: Half a day
Opening Hours: 5:00 ~ 22:00
Tickets: Free for Square
Address: Chang’an Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100009, China

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Overview of Tiananmen Square


Tiananmen Square (天安门广场) was first built in Ming Dynasty when Emperor Zhudi (朱棣) laid out the city of Beijing. It has been an imperial square enclosed by railings out the Forbidden Palace and civilians are forbidden to enter.

As more than 500 years passed, Tiananmen Square became a diamond in the crown of Beijing. It witnessed how Chinese people struggle against the feudal governance and foreign invaders for democracy and freedom. On 1st October 1949, Chairman Mao proclaimed the establishment of People’s Republic of China in Tiananmen Gate. Without any doubt, Tiananmen Square becomes a symbol of national cohesion and prosperity of China.

Layout & Construction

Occupying an area of 440,000 square meters and able to hold more than 1,000,000 people at the same time, Tiananmen Square stretches 880 m from north to south and 500 m from west to east. Monument to the People’s Heroes is standing in the center of Tiananmen Square and Mao Zedong Memorial Hall is nearby. In northern Tiananmen Square is the ancient Tiananmen Tower which is constructed in 14 century while National Museum of China is in east square and Great Hall of the People west. Being magnificent and resplendent, the whole square presents a neatly symmetrical image.

Highlight


Tiananmen Tower

Tiananmen Tower (sometimes open to public) was first built in 1417 and acted as the front gate to Forbidden City. During Qing and Ming Dynasties, Tiananmen Tower was the place for officials and eunuchs to issue the emperor’s proclamation. It could be open only in major occasions such as emperors’ wedding, enthronement and ceremonies to worship heaven or earth.

The 33.7 meter high Tiananmen Tower is made up of the tower with 60 giant columns and below platform built in Sumeru throne. The tower is rather glorious, dazzling golden brick paving on the ground, two elegantly designed doors carved with delicate decorative pattern, the arch and beam drawn with Chinese traditional patterns with auspicious meaning. The front side of Tiananmen Tower has 5 arched doors, among which the mid one is exclusively open for the emperor in ancient times. Above this special door hangs a big portrait of Chairman Mao, and on its two sides you can read two sentence—one is “Long live the People’s Republic of China” while the other is “Long live the Unity of People of Whole World” Confronted with Tiananmen Square, Jinshui River flows by. Across Jinshui River builds some bridges for different people with different status.

Monument to the People’s Heroes

With a height of 37.94 meter, Monument to the People’s Heroes is the largest monument in China’s history, also the first building after the founding of New China.

The monument is piled up by 17,000 pieces of granite and white marble. It includes platforms, sumeru thrones, body and head from bottom to top. The lower part of platform shapes like a crabapple flower, but the upper is quadrate and enclosed with white marble columns. The big sumeru throne above the platforms is inlaid with exquisite reliefs which depict the crucial events and showing a part of the centuries-old history of China. The front body of Monument to the People’s Heroes is faced with Tiananmen Tower and inscribed with large, glazed words by Mao Zedong (毛泽东): Immortal People’s Heroes. The back part of the monument is composed of 7 pieces of stone with handwriting by Chairman Mao Zedong and inscribed by Premier Zhou Enlai (周恩来) which read “Glory forever”. The solemn and grandeur monument reflects the tremendous contribution of revolutionary martyrs and people’s strong homage to them.

Monument to the People’s Hero was designed by Liang Sicheng (梁思成) and other great architects after collecting the opinion of the influential person from construction zone, research zone and art zone. It is crystallization of culture and wisdom of people. In addition to paying respects to martyrs, Monument to the People’s Heroes still shows Chinese traditional national art, and acts as the essence of Chinese architectural art.

Great Hall of the People

Step down from the white marble base at the rear of the Hall of Preserving Harmony, a wide courtyard separates the outer court from inner court.

Situated in the west side of Tiananmen Square, Great Hall of the people covers 170,000 square meters. This building involves the style of traditional Chinese architecture with the essence of western architectures. With 12 25-meter high marble gateposts standing in the frontage, the marble floor in peach-pink, translucent quartz lamp hanging on the roof, Great Hall of the People presents an atmosphere of refinement and elegancy.

In fact, Great Hall of the People is mostly used for ceremonial activities, national meeting or other special events like large anniversary celebration, memorial service for former leaders etc.

Mao Zedong Memorial Hall

Mao Zedong Memorial Hall was built in 1977 to commemorate the founding leader Chairman Mao. It enjoys two floors. The first floor can be divided into three parts. In the Northern Hall, there is a lifelike white marble statue of Chairman Mao and an exquisite picture scroll of the beautiful lands in China. In the main hall, visitors can pay a view to the body of Chairman Mao. The great man lies in a crystal cabinet, draped in the flag of the Chinese Communist Party which is emblazoned with hammer and sickle. Chinese people show deep respect when faced with the physical presence of Chairman Mao. The Southern displays the literary achievements of the Chairman Mao. The second floor is equipped with 6 Revolutionary Performance Showroom of 6 great leaders including Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi (刘少奇), Zhu De (朱德), Deng Xiaoping (邓小平) and Chen Yun (陈云). By large amounts of detailed and accurate photos, documents and other material objects, the showrooms give an expression to the historical picture of how Chinese people make a revolution and build a new China.

National Museum of China

As a blend of collecting, displaying, research, archaeological studies, public education and cultural communication, National Museum of China is a comprehensive museum with an emphasis on Chinese art and history. It enjoys large scale, rich collections, and becomes one of the most popular museums in the world. Most charming collection is Ancient China Exhibition with 2026 cultural relics containing 521 fist level cultural relics. In the sequence of the changes of dynasties and focusing on cultural relics, the exhibition shows the endless stretches of Chinese civilization. The exhibition is made up of 8 parties according to different periods.

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Layout of Tiananmen Square

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Tiananmen Tower

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Inside Tiananmen Tower

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Monument to the People’s Heroes

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Reliefs in Monument

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Great Hall of the People

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Mao Zedong Memorial Hall

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Statue of Chairman Mao

Attraction around Tiananmen Square


Passing through Tiananmen Square, the magnificent imperial palace coming into your eyes is charming Forbidden City. Once forbidden but now permitted. It will be an enjoyable experience to visit a huge palace once built by the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties used to live in. Pass across various doorways to admire the magnificent and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow glazed tile roof, white marble base and splendid colorful paintings. The cultural richness of china is truly reflected at this historical palace.

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Forbidden City

Get to Tiananmen Square – Location & Transportation


Tiananmen Square is at the city central axis of Beijing, just at the south of the Forbidden City. You can get there very conveniently by taxi, subway, bus, bicycle, and others. If you go by Beijing subway, you can take the Metro Line 1 to get off at Tiananmendong (天安门东) or Tiananmenxi (天安门西), or take the Metro Line 2 to get off at Qianmen (前门). And let’s see the distance to the hot attractions in Beijing as following.

  • From the Forbidden City – about 1km, walking for 15 mins
  • From the Temple of Heaven – about 4km, driving for 25 mins
  • From the Summer Palace – about 18km, driving for 38 mins
  • From the Badaling Great Wall – about 75km, driving for 1 hr & 50 mins

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Location Map of Tiananmen Square

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Warm Tips


  • Getting up early (04:40~07:40 depends on seasons) ensures you to watch the flag raising ceremony at sunrise, performed by a troop of People’s Liberation Army soldiers drilled to march at precisely fixed paces per minute.
  • Depending on the time of visiting, be ready for long queues through the security check before you can get to the square – but well worth the wait. There is another security check before entering Chairman Mao’s Memorial Hall, so depositing your bag in advance is time-saving.
  • Opening hours and admission fee for different attractions:

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Flag-raising ceremony

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Ticket fee is for reference only. For up-to-date information, feel free to contact us.

Tours & Travel Information


4 Days Classic Beijing Tour Package

Opera Snapshot_2017-12-13_070137_www.chinadiscovery.com

5 Days Experience the Real Hutong Life of Beijing

Opera Snapshot_2017-12-13_070848_www.chinadiscovery.com

6 Days Experience the Real Hutong Life of Beijing

Opera Snapshot_2017-12-13_071339_www.chinadiscovery.com

8 Days Experience the Real Hutong Life of Beijing

Opera Snapshot_2017-12-13_070621_www.chinadiscovery.com

Source: chinadiscovery