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Tian'anmen Square / 天安门广场

Tian'anmen Square / 天安门广场

The 400,000 square metres large area is the key historic centre of Beijing. It was here that the former Communist Party leader, Mao Zedong, declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China on 1st October 1949. With the famous red building and the giant signature portrait of Mao, this place is definitely the first thing come to might when speaking of Beijing. There are national flag raising ceremonies every day at the time of sunrise. On the first day of every month, the ceremony is the most solemn with a military band.
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The Forbidden City / 故宫

The Forbidden City / 故宫

Built by Emperor Yongle in the early 15th century, the 720,000 square metres of Forbidden City was home to the imperial household. It was opened to the public in 1949. The well-preserved area boasts more than 800 buildings and 9,999 rooms. The Hall of Supreme Harmony, beautifully decorated with thousands of Dragons, was used to celebrate the Chinese emperor’s birthday. The Palace of Heavenly Purity served as the emperors’ living area and features several bedrooms.
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The Summer Palace / 颐和园

The Summer Palace / 颐和园

The Summer Palace is a 220-hector imperial garden. The idea was to rebuild a classic view of southern China so that the emperors, as well as the royal families, could enjoy a different atmosphere without even leaving Beijing. Both the mountain and the lake inside the Summer Palace are artificial. The lake was intended to imitate the famous West Lake of Hangzhou and is even a street alongside the river that perfectly restores the scene of a small northern waterside village.
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Temple of Heaven / 天坛

Temple of Heaven / 天坛

This enormous park was built in the early 15th century, around the same time the Forbidden City was constructed. The park hosts several intriguing buildings. In the north of the park, a stone carved stairway leads up to the entrance of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests with its cylindrical blue-tiled roof and a beautifully decorated ceiling. It was struck by lightning and burnt to the ground in 1889 but was carefully reconstructed the following year. The Hall of Abstinence was used by emperors for fasting. In the south, you will find the Round Altar—a three-tiered marble platform.
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Yuan Ming Yuan Park / 圆明园

Yuan Ming Yuan Park / 圆明园

Yuanmingyuan is a place steeped in myth. It was allegedly the most wonderous and luxurious imperial garden in Chinese history, with exotic animals wandering the park and rare flowers everywhere, dotted with gold sculptures and stones, with buildings that were built entirely of jade. However, the park was destroyed in 1860 by foreign intruders and local rebellions. Now all that's left is essentially a ruin, but still a beautiful one. There was little first-hand record of this garden and the only image remaining is a painting.
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Dashilan / 大栅栏

Dashilan / 大栅栏

Dashilan used to be the busiest suburban commercial area, and one of those most steeped in history. This traditional market is kept as it once was; some of the longest-standing brand boutiques started here, as well as the very first cinema in Beijing - and all of them are still running. Dashilan represents the other side of Beijing. It shows you that this city is not only about royal families but also about regular residents who lived outside the palace. This place breathes vitality of daily life. This is also the main exhibition spot of Beijing International Design Week, making for a unique chemistry between the area's traditional vibe and modern art and design exhibits.
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