Aside from the most prominent monuments in Beijing, such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. This city has an enormous wealth of lesser-known structures and important historical monuments. Many of these monuments are equally worthy of attention and warrant searching out. Each city has its own unique monuments. You think of the Eiffel tower when it comes to Paris. You think of Big Ben when you mention London and when you speak of New York, you think of the Statue of Liberty. So, what are the famous monuments of Beijing? Follow us to learn about the top 10 monuments in Beijing:
List of Monuments in Beijing
1. Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is one of the most visited sites and famous monuments in Beijing in the country of China. The section that is usually visited by most tourists is the first part, which has a completely rebuilt wall and is closest to the center of Beijing. But there is a more rustic side of the wall: The Simatai section. This stretch has a unique landscape for two reasons: One, is the lack of people, since its conditions and remoteness are not very visited, and the other reason is its status: The wall remains how it was, with no reconstructions or additions. It is highly recommended for those who want to see things as they were and do not mind walking in-between rubble.
2. The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is the largest ancient monuments in Beijing. It was built-in 1406. It covers an area of 720,000 square meters with a construction area of about 150,000 square meters. More than 70 palaces and over 9,000 rooms are located in the 961-meter-long, 753-meter-wide and 10-meter-high rectangular courtyard. The important palaces are on the axis of the courtyard. A row of mystical animal statuettes features along the ridgeline of halls. Red walls and yellow tiles symbolize the supreme power of the imperial family. The Forbidden City embodies the essence of traditional Chinese architecture.
3. The Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven was the place where every year the emperors of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1636–1912) dynasties worshipped heaven and prayed for a good harvest. It is known as the top monuments in Beijing. It covers an area of about 2.7 million square meters. The peculiar architectural structure is famous for its precise architectural layout and magnificent architectural decorations. Beginning from the Circular Mound Altar to the Imperial Vault of Heaven and on to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, Main halls lie on a south-north line in the middle of the park about 750 meters long. The structure and design of this beautiful monument in Beijing reflect the core of Chinese cosmology, beliefs, and religion from earlier times.
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4. Tian’anmen Square
The design of the National Emblem of the People’s Republic of China shows Tian’anmen. Tian’anmen Square is at the center of Beijing. It is spread across an area of 440,000 square meters can host a grand gathering of one million people. It is the largest city square and one of the important monuments in Beijing. In 1949, Chairman Mao proclaimed the foundation of the People’s Republic of China from the Tian’anmen rostrum. The Mausoleum of Mao Zedong is at the south of the square; where Chairman Mao’s body lies in a crystal coffin. Tian’anmen has been popular for various important events in Chinese history. It, therefore, has a high status in the hearts of many Chinese people.
5. The Bird’s Nest
Both the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube were built for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. You can find them in the Olympic Park. In the future, they will be renovated for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The Bird’s Nest is a popular monument in Beijing and the world’s largest steel structure. It hosted the opening ceremony, athletic events, the football final and the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The Water Cube is the world’s largest ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) application project. It features a unique bubble design. The surface of its “soap bubbles” reflects sunlight and makes the building resemble a water droplet glistening in the sunlight, from which it got its nickname: The Water Cube.
6. The National Grand Theater
The National Grand Theater is an iconic monument in Beijing that covers an area of 118,900 square meters. Having the unique shell shape this main building of the theater consists of 18,398 titanium plates and 1,226 pieces of transparent glass. It is completely surrounded by a man-made lake, looking from the air like an egg floating on water. Lights are dotted on the surface. When night falls, the theater glitters.
7. CCTV Headquarters Building
The CCTV headquarters building, completed in 2012, covers an area of 187,000 square meters. The main building consists of a 52-floor tower, and a 44-floor tower. It is counted in one of the most visited monuments in Beijing. The two towers are connected at 162 meters by a large cantilever. In 2007, the building was nominated by Time magazine to world’s top 10 architectural wonders. There is an interesting thing about the building. Beijing locals jokingly nicknamed it da Kucha (literally meaning “big underpants”) because it resembles big underpants. On the 37th story of the building (more than 100 meters high), visitors can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city through its toughened glass floor.
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8. Galaxy SOHO
Galaxy SOHO, an amazing monument in Beijing is the three-year building project that covered more than 50,000 square meters. Galaxy SOHO attracts people’s attention with its streamlined design, especially its bird’s eye view. Four individual buildings have their own atrium and circulation core but are connected at different levels to create a flow of dynamic beauty. But the mall has created controversy. It is said that it occupies too large an area in the center of Beijing and it also clashes with the architectural style of old Beijing. At least in terms of its grandeur and aesthetics, it can be regarded as one of Beijing’s landmarks.
9. Meridian Gate
The Meridian Gate is was popularly known as “the turrets of the five phoenixes” It is the formal entrance gate to the Forbidden City. It is a combination of the fortress, palace and exit door, and the door entry and largest of the four that are in the Forbidden City. Its construction was completed in 1420, during the Ming Dynasty. It has three arches, the middle step historically reserved for the emperor, for Western and Eastern princess for civil and military officials.
10. China World Trade Center Tower III
If you want to talk about modern Beijing, you should mention the China World Trade Center (WTC). The WTC is a building complex of 1.1 million square meters, and the world’s largest international trade center. Along with Towers I and II, this amazing monument in Beijing consists of China WTC Tower III. The Tower III is 330 meters tall with 80 floors and was completed in 2007. It integrates office, hotel, conference, exhibition, shopping and entertainment functions, located in Beijing’s Central Business District.
11. The Eight Hutongs
The Eight Hutongs is used to be the famous red-light district of Beijing during the Qing Dynasty and the Chinese Republic. With the Baishun Hutong on the west and the Lishamao Hutong (now Xiaoli Hutong) on the east, the eight was between the Tieshu Xiejie and the Xizhushikou Street north-south.
12. China Zun
China Zun or CITIC Tower is the tallest building in Beijing, 528 meters high. It was completed in 2018 and is now in use, featuring office space, luxury apartments, hotels, and a rooftop garden on the top floor. The architectural conception of this top monument of Beijing originates from the image of “Zun”, traditional Chinese ritual vessels. The building rises to the top of the clouds, demonstrating its indomitable spirit, and reflecting oriental charm.
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13. Ming Tombs
The Ming Tombs located at the foot of Tianshou Hill in Changping District. Ming Tombs is a tomb for 13 emperors in the Ming Dynasty. Apart from the emperors, also buried are 23 empresses, 30 concubines, two princes, and a eunuch. You can see the Changling Mausoleum where the Yongle Emperor rests in the Ming Tombs. It is the tomb for the Ming Dynasty’s last emperor Chongzhen. This historical monument in Beijing China is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved imperial mausoleum groups in the world.
14. Beijing Ancient Observatory
The fortress-like Beijing Ancient Observatory was completed in 1442 that lies in the east of the city near the station quarter and was continuously in use right up until 1929. It is widely considered one of the oldest such observatories in the world. Many fascinating old pre-telescopic instruments among the 10,000-square-meter facility’s are a celestial globe dating from 1673 and an 18th-century armillary globe depicting the planets along with a number of large bronze instruments.
15. Yuanmingyuan Park
These ones of monuments Beijing city is known as Yuanmingyuan in Chinese used to be a 3.5-square-kilometer imperial palace that had absorbed the top-notch garden art from the world, a garden so wonderful that even Victor Hugo called it “the thousand and one dreams of the thousand and one nights”. It is counted in one of the monuments of Beijing. But we can only imagine its past glory now as it was burnt down by a fire set by the joint British-French army during the Second Opium War in 1860. The ruins of the Dashuifa Site are the Old Summer Palace’s most-visited site nowadays where the history of invasion is remembered.
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