The Palace Museum
· Name：the Palace Museum
· Address：No.4 Jingshan Front Street,Dongcheng District .
· Transportation:Take No. 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20, 52, 57, 22, 54, 120, 802, special No.1 to Zhongshan Park stop or Tian An Men stop.
The Palace Museum was commissioned by the third Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Yong Le. The palace was built between 1406 and 1420, but was burnt down, rebuilt, sacked and renovated countless times, so most of the architecture you can see today dates from the 1700’s and on wards. The Forbidden City was the seat of Imperial power for 500 years, and is now a major tourist attraction in China. The total area of the complex is 183 acres, so it takes quite a while to walk through, especially if you want to have a close look at everything. All together there are 9,999 1/2 rooms in the Museum, not all of which can be visited.
The Imperial Palace is rectangle architecture. It is 961 meters long from south to north and 753 meters wide. There is city wall with 10 meters height around and the moat outside of city wall is 52 meters wide. The Imperial Palace has 4 gates. The Gate of Divine Prowess(Shenwumen) on the north, Merdian Gate(Wumen) on the south, the Eestern Flowry Gate (Donghuamen) on the east, and the Western Flowery Gate (Xinhuamen) on the south, the Eestem Folwery Gate (Donghuamen) on the east, and the Western Flowery Gate (xinhuamen) on the west. There are 4 corner towers at the 4 coners of city wall and the whole area is 724.250 square meters.
On the whole, the Imperial Palace is divided into two parts: front court and back chamber. Not only in the Imperial Palace, the monarch bed chamber of Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty is divided like so. Front court of the Imperial Palace mainly includes the 3 palaces of mid-way and the Hall of Lierary Glory (Wenhuadian), the Pailion of the Source of Lierature(Wenyuange), Shang Si Court, Arrow tower, Imperial Hospital, Imerial Teahouse. Qing Embassy and Cabinet Warehouse of east way. And also Yu Ying Palace. Yan An Palace. Intermal Affairs Mansion , Building Office and Nan Xun Palace of west way. Back bedchamber includes Back Three Palaces of mid way (the Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qianqinggong), the Palace of Union and Peace (Jiaotaidian) and the Palace of Earthly Tranquility (Kunninggong).
East Six Palaces, Feng Xian Palace, Ning Shou Palace and the Palace of Abstinence(Zhaigong) of east way, West Six Palace, the Hall of Mental Cultivalion (Yangxindian), Ci Ning Palace, Ning Shou Palace kang Palace and Shou An Palace of west way. So you can choose on route or two routes among mid you can choose one route or two routes among mid way (outside court, intermal court travel route), west way (intenal cout west travel route) and east way (intenal court east and extenal east travel route). If you are non-group tourist, suggest you rent multi lingual guide record at Menidian Gate (Wumen) and retun when you go the Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwumen). After you visit the Imperial Palace , you go out of the Gate of Dvine Prowess(Shenwumen), enter into Jingshan Park and overlook the panorama of the Imperial Palace . In addition, suggest you visit front-street of Jiangshan Park by manpower pedi-cab at cool night of summer. Shining lights are bright and Forbidden City is brilliant. Colored lights from all directions lighten Meridian Gate (Wumen), the Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwumen) turret, palace wall and other main palaces.
The Temple of Confucius
Name：the Temple of Confucius
Address：No.13 Guozijianbei Street, Andingmennei，Dongcheng District
Transportation:Subway: Line2 or 5 to Yonghegong Station. Bus:13,116,684 to Guozijian Station.
Located on Guozijian Street inside Anding Gate, the Temple of Confucius in Beijing is the place where people paid homage to Confucius during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The Temple of Confucius was initially built in 1302 and additions were made during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It has a total area of 22,000 square meters (5.4 acres). It is the second largest temple constructed for Confucius, the greatest thinker and educationalist in ancient China, ranking only behind the Temple of Confucius in Qufu, Shandong Province.
This temple consists of four courtyards. The main structures include Xianshi Gate (Gate of the First Teacher), Dacheng Gate (Gate of Great Accomplishment), Dacheng Hall (Hall of Great Accomplishment) and Chongshengci (Worship Hall). Dacheng Hall is the main building in the temple, where the memorial ceremony for Confucius was often held. Inside the temple one can see that 198 stone tablets are positioned on either side of the front courtyard, containing 51,624 names of Jinshi (the advanced scholars) of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Also 14 stone stele pavilions of the Ming and Qing dynasties hold the precious historical information of ancient China.
In the temple, you can also find remarkable pictures like two flying dragons playing a pearl among clouds, which are believed to be used only in the imperial palaces because dragon stands for emperor in ancient China. From those, it is easy to imagine the importance of the Confucius Temple in the feudal society of China.
Shichahai Scenic Area
Name：Shichahai Scenic Area
Address：opposite the north gate of Beihai Park, Di’anmen West Street, Xicheng District
Transportation:take 13、42、107、111、118、810、823、612 to Beihai Benmen stop
This scenic area contains the largest and best-preserved age-old block in the city. In the Yuan Dynasty it was the capital’s center for commerce. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, it was home to many high officials and men of many letters. After the Manchu takeover, the emperor-led Pure Yellow Banner Troops were stationed here. In 1992, the Standing Conference of the Beijing Government named it a scenic area of history and culture. Thereafter is was referred to as Shichahai, which is the name it has maintained to date. In 2002, the Shichahai area, which covers 1,467,000 square meters altogether, was designated as one of 25 historical and cultural protection zones of the city.
Shichahai has both a beautiful and unique scenery. A famous essay, once written in ancient times, says that during the Spring it is like the West Lake in Hangzhou; yet during the Summer it reminds one of the Qinghuai River in Nanjing. The poem, whose author is unknown, referred to the Autumn season as a time that makes Shichahai a blissful reminder of the Dongting Lake in Hunan. Shichahai has the densest collection of cultural tourism resources, having altogether 40 historic sites under protection, with three of them under national protection. The best known among them are Prince Gong’s Mansion, which used to be the residence of He Shen, the most avaricious minister of the Qing Dynasty, and the Yinding Bridge, which is known as the best place to view mountain side near the area.
Shichahai has rich historical legacies and a number of well preserved Hutongs, Quadrangle Dwellings, mansions and gardens. It has a vast cultural heritage within the walls of the temples, halls, and distinguished former residencies which are now historical sites. These areas are harmoniously blended with natural scenery and with distinctive folk customs. In recent years, bars, homely restaurants and hotels in some Quadrangle Dwellings have began to sprout in this neighborhood, making this place more fashionable to tourists. The tradition and aesthetics of this time period attracts about five million tourists each year from home and abroad. In 2005, it was listed by the Chinese National Geography Center as one of the five best city blocks in China for ‘being fashionably next door to Zhongnanhai.’
Each year, the cultural tourism festival is held in Shichahai. Several ‘Hutong Tours have been set up which convey a different, albeit important side of the area. The area of Shichahai has become a well-known scenic spot among expats living within the city. Tourists may experience the genuine culture of Beijing by joining the tours of Prince Gong’s Mansions, seeing the old streets, ancient temples, former residencies, the city gate towers, the boating areas, the old bars and accommodation arrangements of the Quadrangle Dwellings. It is well worth the visit as it lends one an image into the life of the old city. Take a trip there during your next day off. Bring a friend or a co-worker or simply head there on your own to reflect.
Its a great place to appreciate the days of the past and the future that lies ahead.