Ermak Travel Guide


The World at your fingertips 



Feel free to leave your comments below. If you want to share your knowledge, additional information or experience in a particular place your input is more than welcome.









Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China. Its name means Northern Capital (Nanjing foron the other hand means Southern Capital). Beijing has more than three thousand years of history and today is a city directly governed by the government, which means that it is directly subordinate to the central government and thus equated with provinces, autonomous regions and special administrative areas. The entire 16.807 square kilometers administrative area of ​​Beijing has 21.5 million inhabitants. It is not a contiguous urban area, with its dominating rural settlement structure, it is more comparable to a province. Of the total population, there are 11.8 million registered permanent residents and 7.7 million temporary residents with temporary residence permits If the core city (high density and closed city form) is taken as the basis, live in Beijing 7.7 million people with primary residence (2007). The metropolitan area (including suburbs) has 11.8 million inhabitants (2007).


Travel Destinations in Beijing

Forbidden City (Beijing)

Tel. (010) 513 2255
Open: Apr-Oct: 8:30am- 5pm daily
Nov-Mar: 8:30am- 4:30pm daily

Temple of Heaven (Beijing)

Tian Tan Dang Lu (East Gate), Chongwen
Tel. (010) 6702 2617
Subway: Qian Men
Busses: 34, 35, 6
Park: 8am- 5pm daily
Temple: 8:30am- 5pm daily



Beijing Natural History Museum (Beijing)

126 Tianqiao Nan Dajie, Chongwen

Subway: Qian Men

Tel. (010) 6702 4431

Open: 8:30am- 5pm daily


Qian Men (Beijing)

Qian Men Dajie

Subway: Qian Men

Open: 8:30am- 4pm daily





Cities in the Beijing area have existed since the first millennium BC. On the territory of the modern capital of China was located the city of Ji (Chinese trad. 薊, ex. 蓟) - the capital of the kingdom of Yan, one of the states of the Warring States period (473-221 BC).

After the fall of Yan, the subsequent states of Han and Jin included this area in various districts. During the Tang Empire, this territory became the headquarters of Jedushi Fanyang, the military governor of the northern part of modern Hebei province. In 755, the An Lushan rebellion began here, which is often regarded as the starting point for the fall of the Tang empire.

In 936, the late Chinese state of Late Jin surrendered most of the northern border lands, including the territory of modern Beijing, the Khitan empire of Liao. In 938, the Liao Empire established the second capital of its state on the site of what is now Beijing, calling it Nanjing ("Southern Capital"). In 1125, the Jurchen empire of Jin annexed the state of Liao, and in 1153 moved its capital to Nanjing, renaming it Zhongdu (中 都 - “Central Capital”). It was located in the modern Tianning area, just southwest of the center of Beijing.

In 1215, Zhongdu was burned to the ground by the Mongol forces (by order of Genghis Khan) and rebuilt a little to the north in 1267. In preparation for the conquest of all of China, the future founder of the empire, Yuan Khan Khubilai, made the city his capital and named it Dad in Chinese (Chinese ex. 大都, pinyin: Dàdū, literally: “The Great Capital”), and in Mongolian - Hanbalyk (Great Khan's residence). It was at this time that Marco Polo visited China, and in his records this city is found under the name Cambuluc. Prior to this, the capitals of the Chinese state were usually located in the central regions of the country, but the main base of Khubilai was located in Mongolia, so he chose this place because of its proximity to it. This decision of the khan elevated the status of a city located on the northern outskirts of historical China. Dadu was located a little north of the modern center of Beijing, between the northern sections of the current Second and Third Ring Road. The remains of the Mongol fortress walls still stand in this area.

In 1368, the Yuan Empire fell, the city was again destroyed, but later rebuilt again by the Ming Empire, and Shun Tian County (順天) was established around it. In 1421, the third emperor Ming, Yongle, again transferred the capital from Nanjing to this city, renaming it Beijing (Chinese ex. 北京, pall .: Beijing, literally: "Northern Capital"). The city also became known as Jingshi (京師 - "capital"). During the Ming Empire, Beijing acquired its modern shape, and the Ming city wall served as the city wall of Beijing until recently, when it was demolished for the construction of the Second Ring Road in its place.


It is believed that Beijing was the largest city in the world from 1425 to 1650 and from 1710 to 1825 [8]. The Forbidden City, the residence of the Minsk and Qing emperors, was built in 1406-1420, after which the Temple of Heaven (1420) and other significant structures were built. The main entrance to the Forbidden City - the Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen Gate), which became the state symbol of the People's Republic of China and is depicted on its coat of arms, burned twice during the Ming Dynasty and was finally restored in 1651.

The Manchus who invaded China overthrew the Ming Empire and founded the Qing Empire. Beijing remained the capital of Qing China throughout the reign of the dynasty. As in the days of the previous empire, the city was also called Qingshi, or in Manchu - Gemun Hetsen. During the occupation of Beijing in 1860, the British and French looted and burned the Yuanmingyuan Imperial Palace. In 1900, the city survived the siege and invasion of the combined army of the Western powers during the Boxer Uprising.

In 1911, a bourgeois Xinhai revolution took place in China, which overthrew Qing rule and established a republic, and the original plan was to transfer the capital to Nanjing. However, after the high Qing dignitary Yuan Shikai sided with the revolutionaries and forced the emperor to abdicate, thereby ensuring the success of the revolution, the revolutionaries in Nanjing agreed that Yuan Shikai would become the president of the established Republic of China and that the capital remain in Beijing.

Yuan Shikai began to gradually consolidate power in his hands, which in 1915 ended with his announcement of the creation of the Chinese Empire, and himself - the emperor. This decision turned many revolutionaries away from him, and he died a year later. After his death, China broke up into regions controlled by local military leaders, between the strongest of whom frequent clashes broke out over control of Beijing (Zhili-Anhui War, the First Zhili-Fentyan War and the Second Zhili-Feng War).

After the success of the Kuomintang Northern Campaign, which pacified the northern military leaders, in 1928 the capital of the Republic of China was officially moved to Nanjing, and Beijing was renamed Beiping - (Chinese уп 北平, pinyin: Běipíng, literally: “Northern Calm”), which should emphasize the illegitimacy of the military government in Beijing.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War on July 29, 1937, Beijing was in the hands of the Japanese. During the occupation, the city was returned the name "Beijing", and it established the puppet Provisional Government of the Republic of China, in whose submission ethnically Chinese parts of northern China occupied by the Japanese were identified. It was then merged with the main occupation government of Wang Jingwei in Nanjing. The Japanese imperial army stationed a detachment of 1855 for bacteriological research in the city, which was a unit of detachment 731. In them, Japanese physicians conducted experiments on people.

On August 15, 1945, simultaneously with the surrender of Japan in World War II, Beijing was again renamed Beiping.

January 31, 1949 during the Civil War, the city was taken without a fight by the Communists. On October 1 of that year, the CCP, led by Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square, announced the creation of the People’s Republic of China. A few days earlier, the People’s Political Advisory Council of China decided to establish the capital in Beiping and return it to the name Beijing (Beijing).

At the time of the formation of the administrative unit "the city of central subordination Beijing", it included only the urban zone and the nearest suburbs. The urban area was divided into many small areas that were inside the modern Second Ring Road. Since then, several counties have entered the territory of the city of central subordination, thus increasing its area several times and giving its borders the current shape. The ramparts of Beijing were destroyed in the period 1965-1969. for the construction of the Second Ring Road in its place.

After the start of Deng Xiaoping's economic reform, Beijing's urban area has increased significantly. If before that it was inside the modern Second and Third Ring Highways, now it is gradually going beyond the newly built Fifth Ring Road and approaching the Sixth under construction, occupying the territories previously used for agriculture and developing them as residential or business areas. A new business center appeared in the Gomao area, the Wangfujing and Xidan districts turned into booming shopping areas, and Zhongguancun Village became one of the main centers of China's electronic industry.

In recent years, urban expansion and urbanization along with development have brought many problems, including traffic congestion, air pollution, the destruction of historical buildings and a significant influx of migrants from poorer regions of the country, especially from rural areas.




blog comments powered by Disqus