Day 1: The Great Wall at Badaling
The Great Wall at Badaling is located in Yanqing County, which is about 60 kilometers northwest of Beijing. It is widely known as the most representative section of the “Great Wall” from the Ming Dynasty. Well laid out with huge uniform bricks, the wall was built on the ridges of the mountains.
The Great Wall at Badaling consists of the main wall and several subordinate walls. It is flanked by steep mountains and popularly known as the “key to the northern gate.” Now 3,741 meters of the Great Wall at Badaling and 21 beacon towers are open to visitors.
Some facts about the Great Wall:
-Took over two thousand years to build
- constrcuted to protect the Chinese empire
- measures 8,850 km (5,500 mi)
Day 2: Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, named after the Tiananmen Gate, located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world (440,000 m² – 880m by 500m or 109 acres – 960 by 550 yd). It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
Perhaps the most notable events are protests during the May Fourth Movement in 1919, the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China by Mao Zedong on October 1, 1949, the Tiananmen Sqaure protests in 1975 after the death of premier Zhou Enlai, and the Tienanmen Square protests of 1989, which resulted in military suppression and the deaths of multiple protestors. The Communist Party of China forbids discussion of the Tiananmen Square protests.
Day 3: Capital Museum Beijing
The Capital Museum was established in 1981 with a collection of 83,000 objects.Although initially the Museum pales in comparison to the visitors received in other major art museums in Beijing,it has since then became one of the leading cultural institutions in the city, with the first five months of 2007 receiving more than 166,000 visitors.
The Capital Museum’s building’s massive roof and the gradient at the entrance square was influenced by the design from ancient Chinese architecture and the stone-made exterior wall was meant to symbolize imagery of the city walls and towers in ancient China.A piece of danbi(a massive stone carved with images of dragon, phoenix and imperial artifacts) is embedded on the ground in front of the north gate of the museum, whereas a decorative archway from the Ming Dynasty is set in the reception.
Day 4: Museum of Qin: Terracotta Warriors
The Terracotta Army or the “Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses”, is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife, and to make sure that he had people to rule over.
The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits near by Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were also found in other pits and they include officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians.
Day 5: Ming Tombs
50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest from Beijing City, at the foot of Tianshou Mountain, are the Ming Tombs. Here lies the mausoleums of thirteen emperors of Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644). Since 1409 when Zhu Di, the first emperor of Ming Dynasty, built his Changling Tomb here, the succeeding twelve emperors had their tombs built around Changling during the next 230 years, covering a total area of over 120 square kilometers (46.3 square miles). This is the best preserved tomb area with the most emperors buried. Every year millions of tourists come to the site to appreciate its long history and palatial architecture.