Facts About Beijing

, , Leave a comment


Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China. It is the political, economic cultural educational hub of the Republic. It is also the centre of international trade and commerce. Beijing is close to the port city of Tianjin and so is a point of entry to China. Beijing is one of the ancient sites of China and throughout its long history it has been the nucleus of politics and society.

FACT 1: Beijing is the most popular tourist destination in the world with 140 million Chinese tourists and 4.4 million international tourists passing through its historic streets every year.

FACT 2: Beijing has been the capital of China for 850 years. It is one of the four great capitals of China. The city has a 3000 year old history, and almost every important building in the city has great historical significance.

FACT 3: The city has been known by various names throughout its long history. They include Beijing, Cambaluc, Chung-tu, Khan-baliq, PeiChih-lu, Pei-ching, Pei-ping, Peking, Ta-tu and Yanjing. The city was christened Beijing in 1421. The city was occupied by European expeditionary forces in 1860 and suffered much damage during the Boxer rebellion in 1900.

FACT 4: The city boasts many historic tourist attractions. The Great Wall of China traverses Beijing.

FACT 5: The Forbidden City at the heart of Beijing was home to the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is the largest palace complex in the world. The Forbidden City houses the Palace Museum with its impressive collection of Imperial Chinese Art.

FACT 6: The Lugon Bridge over the Yong ding River is an architectural masterpiece. It is supported by 281 pillars. Each pillar has a lion atop it, and each lion has a number of lions hidden in its mane, head, back, paws and underbelly. This makes it difficult to get an accurate count of the number of lions on the bridge. The 13th century Venetian traveller, Marco Polo praise the bridge to such an extent that the bridge is sometimes called the Marco Polo Bridge. An incident of conflict that took place on this bridge between Chinese and Japanese soldiers led to the Sino Jap War (1937-1945).

FACT 7: The city presents an intriguing mix of the ancient and the modern. Approximately 7000 winding alleys or Hu tongs, twist through the older section of the city. The Hu tongs are lined with traditional courtyard houses. Each hu tong is an open air museum. During the Cultural Revolution much of the ancient city was destroyed to make way for the architecture of modernity and progress. Further modernisation took place when Beijing hosted the 29th Summer Olympic Games in 2008. Today Beijing has theatres, bars, discos, restaurants, malls and business centres.

FACT 8: The city was named Beijing in 1421 by the Ming emperor. The name was restored in 1949, with the formation of the People’s Republic of China. The spelling was adopted in 1958. The name Peking, by which the city was formerly known, is an English version of the name Beijing. The name still persists as in Peking duck, a world famous delicacy that comes from Beijing and the Peking Man, the fossilised specimen of Homo erectus discovered in the area during archaeological excavations between 1923 and 1927.

FACT 9: Tiananmen Square in the heart of the city is the world’s largest public square. In 1989, the square was at the centre of international attention. Chinese troops had fired on students demonstrating for democratic reform, killing 200 of them.

FACT 10: Beijing ranks fifth in the UN urban population chart with just under 20 million urban dwellers.

Tea Time Quiz

[forminator_poll id="23176"]

Leave a Reply