Beijing Tiananmen Gate Tower(北京天安門城樓)
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Beijing Tiananmen Gate Tower(北京天安門城樓)

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The Tiananmen Gate Tower is a famous monument in Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is widely used as a national symbol. First built during the Ming Dynasty in 1420, Tiananmen is often referred to as the front entrance to the Forbidden City. However, the Meridian Gate is the first entrance to the Forbidden City proper, while Tiananmen was the entrance to the Imperial City, within which the Forbidden City was located. Tiananmen is located to the north of Tiananmen Square, across the street from the plaza from Chang'an Avenue.

天安門坐落在中國北京市中心,故宮的南端,與天安門廣場隔長安街相望,是明清兩代北京皇城的正門。設計者為明代的御用建築匠師蒯祥。天安門始建與明朝永樂十五年(1417年),時稱為承天門。清朝順治八年(1651年)更名為天安門。

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen

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Immagini nelle vicinanze di Beijing

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A: Tiananmen Square

di Roy Alvarez, 20 metri di distanza

Tiananmen Square (Manchu: abkai elhe obure duka; simplified Chinese: 天安门广场; traditional Chinese: 天安門廣...

Tiananmen Square

B: Forbidden city 02 المدينة المحرمة

di Ali Barnawi, 20 metri di distanza

The Forbidden City - المدينة المحرمةThe Palace Museum or the Forbidden City, used as the royal palace...

Forbidden city 02 المدينة المحرمة

C: Tiananmen Square

di Kersten, 30 metri di distanza

Tiananmen Square

D:

di liubin, 50 metri di distanza

E: E

di liubin, 50 metri di distanza

E

F: Tian An Men 天安门 (259)

di Dxinwei, 60 metri di distanza

天安门:      天安门的主体建筑分为上下两层。      上层是重檐歇山式,黄琉璃瓦顶的巍峨城楼,东西面阔九楹,南北进深五间,取“九五”之数,象征着皇帝的尊严。正面有36扇菱花格式门窗。城楼基座周围...

Tian An Men 天安门 (259)

G: Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China

di jacky cheng, 90 metri di distanza

Tiananmen located in Beijing's axle, originally for Ming and Qing Dynasties two generation of palace ...

Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China

H: Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China Panorama

di jacky cheng, 90 metri di distanza

Tiananmen located in Beijing's axle, originally for Ming and Qing Dynasties two generation of palace ...

Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China Panorama

I:

di liubin, 90 metri di distanza

J: Beijing Chang'an Avenue 北京长安街 (313)

di Dxinwei, 120 metri di distanza

北京长安街:      1、北京长安街,北京市的一条东西轴线,其名取自盛唐时代的大都城——“长安”(今西安),含长治久安之意。东起东单,西至西单。      2、长安街从东单至西单,长度为7.4里。通常...

Beijing Chang'an Avenue 北京长安街 (313)

Questo panorama è stato scattato in Beijing

Questa è una vista generale di Beijing

Overview and History

In the Stone Age, "Peking Man" lived near Beijing -- as many as 500,000 years ago. The earliest relics in China are stone tools dating to this time period. Between four and five thousand years ago there were agricultural settlements southwest of Beijing. They were the beginning of a city that would go through several name changes over the millenia.

The legendary Yellow Emperor Huang Di battled Chiyou "in the wilderness of the Zhou prefecture." Zhoulu is a town to the west of modern Beijing. The Yellow Emperor's successor, Emperor Yao, established a capital city called Youdo. Youdo became a place called Ji, and Ji was taken over by the Marquis of Yan during the period of the Warring States (475 B.C.)

Ji remained an important city for ten centuries. From China's first feudal empire through to the end of the Tang Dynasty, Ji was a strategic military center in the campaign to unite all of China.

By the end of the Tang Dynasty in 907 A.D., the Qidan army came from the north and occupied Ji. They called it Nanjing, which meant "southern capital." During this time the Liao Dynasty ruled and carried out many reconstruction projects in the city, fortifying it for greater military use.

The Nuzhen army conquered the Liao and established the Jin dynasty as of 1115 A.D., moving the city of Ji and renaming it "Zhongdu" which means "Central Capital." This meant more expansion and construction of palaces until the city spanned five kilometers across and contained an estimated one million people.

Mongolian raiders invaded Zhongdu in 1215 A.D. and renamed it Dadu. Under Kublai Khan the Yuan Dynasty took Dadu as its capital and unified China!

Since Zhongdu had been destroyed by fire in the change from Jin to Yuan dynasties, Kublai Khan took on a reconstruction project that was to expand the city into rectangular shape. It became the political center of the country with three main areas -- imperial palaces, the city walls, and the canal.

By the coming of the thirteenth century, Dadu was a world famous city which astounded Marco Polo when he arrived. In his record he writes, "You must know that it is the greatest palace that ever was..."

In 1368 Ming soldiers captured Dadu and renamed it Beiping or "Northern Peace." It went through another period of reconstruction which saw walls twelve meters high built around its perimeter, walls ten meters thick which took fifteen years to build. When they were done, Beiping became the official capital of the Ming Dynasty. With the completion of the palaces and gardens in 1420, Emperor Yongle renamed the city Beijing, "Northern Capital."

Beijing grew once more and took on a rectangular shape with two distinct sections, the Inner City (Tartar) and the Outer City (Chinese). Its city planners gave it an organized arrangement that still felt relaxed.

The Qing Dynasty came along circa 1644 A.D. and the Manchus built extended suburban gardens. These took more than a whole century to make, but when they were finished the open-air pavilions and palaces stood as a masterpiece of Chinese architecture. This was proper to show the power and refinement of traditional China, a fitting design for the capital of the empire.

The Qing Dynasty lasted until 1911 but collapsed into chaos at the hands of the Northern Warlords. Beijing suffered a lack of leadership until 1949, when the People's Liberation Army entered the city. From Tian'anmen Square in the center of the city, Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the foundation of the People's Republic of China, with Beijing as its capital.

Since then it has continued to expand, surpassing the nine gates of the inner city wall, beyond the seven outer gates, and into the suburbs. Beijing now takes up 750 square kilometers! The city retains its old symmetry with a central axis that runs north-south, and the Imperial Palace Museum at the center. This palace was once called the "Forbidden City" but it is now a museum open to the public.

Getting There

The Beijing Capital International Airport is located 25km northeast of the city. It is the center of China's civil aviation network and it connects to 69 cities worldwide. The airport is linked to the city by bus, taxi and Beijing Subway Airport Line.

The city government operates one bus line and private buses go and come from several hotels. The taxi stand is outside the terminal, as always, so don't ride with the drivers who harass you inside the terminal. A ride to the city center should cost about 70 RMB plus 15 RMB highway toll. You should also know that there's an airport tax of 90 RMB for international travelers. Keep your receipt!

Transportation

Within the city you can choose from 67,000 GPS-equipped taxis, the bus or the metro. Half of their buses are running on natural gas now, which is a good move considering the city is adding fifty new bus routes per year. Whoa!

The metro has two routes, the Loop Line and Line One. The Loop has sixteen stations and it runs parallel to where the city wall stood in the Ming era. Line One has twenty-one stops going from the suburbs on one side all the way across to the other side. It is safe to assume that there will be more metro lines to follow as Beijing grows.

People and Culture

One of the unique sights in Beijing is a park filled with retired people doing their exercises early in the morning. Tai ch'i, QiGong, sword dancing and shadow boxing are forms of exercise and relaxation which have existed for more than two thousand years and are still popular today.

Drinking tea in a teahouse and enjoying a folk opera in an old-style theater are both popular activities in Beijing culture. Beijing has more bars and pubs than any other Chinese city (more than 400), and it's also full of antique shops, silk markets and museums.

Things to do, Recommendations

Beijing is massive and filled with interesting things to explore. For just a few examples, take a look at these:

The National Stadium (bird's nest), the Water Cube, and ruins of the Yuan Dynasty city wall.

If you like art, you have to check out the 798 Art District. It's named for Factory #798 and the district contains hundreds of galleries, bookstores and restaurants. Have fun!

Text by Steve Smith.

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