No doubt, Bejing’s cultural heritage is renowned because of its most attractive sites which include 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Great Wall, Forbidden City, “Peking Man” Site at Zhoukoudian, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven and Ming Tombs. The 6 World Heritage Sites are the most culturally, aesthetically and historically valued sites and are classical symbols of Beijing’s temperament and cultural characteristics.
The Great Wall and the Grand Canal rank among the most magnificent man-made projects in Chinese history. The Great Wall and the Grand Canal were valued as avatars of dragons, but Beijing is the only place where the two dragons came together, creating the unique cultural landscape of Beijing. To travel in this city, it’s best to know the basic layout of the city.
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the construction of Beijing, especially the Forbidden City, closely followed influences of the traditional Chinese culture in location selection, architectural planning, in its layout, shape, naming and in its decoration and ornamentation. The location, shape, pattern, colour and name of every building had their own meaning, which represents principles and connotations of traditional Chinese natural and cultural sciences, architecture and ekistics and reveal the traditional concept of seeking a harmonious relationship between people and nature.
Beijing is one of the most brilliantly planned cities in the world. In ancient China, capital city construction followed a carefully considered plan and strict rules for construction. In line with these rules, buildings were always arranged symmetrically, like a chessboard. The most outstanding characteristic of ancient Beijing city was a central palace that had a central axis through it from north to south, an important aspect of the city’s layout.
Beijing’s Ming Wall or city wall once stood roughly where the second ring road is now. The 8-kilometer north-south central axis ran through its center. Many buildings were designed with the central axis and symmetry in mind.