Beijing, the capital city of China, is a world famous city filled with ancient history and culture. It is also China's political, economic, cultural, and transportation center covering an area of over 16,800 square kilometers. With a population of over 15 million, beijing has a semi humid continental climate. It's winters are cold and dry, while the summers are hot and humid - both spring and autumn are short lasting. Because of the winter cold and summer heat, the best times to travel to Beijing are during the spring and autumn seasons.
Beijing is located in the northernmost part of the North China Plains. It is estimated that about 3,000 years ago, the city emerged as one of the earliest cities in the world, and around 800 years ago, Beijing became the nation's capital for the first time in Chinese History.
in early 10th century, a nomadic tribe established the Liao Dynasty and made Beijing the secondary capital, which was named Nanjing, or Yanjing. After more than a century, the Jin Dynasty defeated the Liao Dynasty, and moved their capital to Nanjing (Beijing) in 1153, and renamed the city Zhongdu.
Later in 1267, Kublai Khan built a new city northwest of Zhongdu, and made it as the capital, naming it Dadu, or "Great Capital". The Mongols were defeated in 1368 by the Ming Dynasty, and the capital city was once again moved to present day Nanjing city by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. In 1403, Emperor Yongle moved the capital to Beijing, where large scale construction took place - including city walls, palaces, temples, gardens, and the city was much larger than Dadu. In 1421, Yongle officially moved the capital city to Beijing.
The Qing Dynasty, which resided in northern China defeated the Ming Dynasty and ruled China from Beijing since 1644. Finally in 1911, Dr. Sun Yat Sen lead a revolution that ended the feudal society of China. On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong raised the flag in Tiananmen square officially declaring the found of the People's Republic of China, and Beijing remained the capital city.
For more Beijing history, read this article.
After liberation, with steady urban development, the old city walls were unfortunately demolished, and the "ring roads" were built on their foundations. However, parts of the old city wall and gate towers were preserved, helping Beijing retain some of its ancient history and charm. The Tiananmen Square still remains the center of Beijing directly facing the Forbidden Palace.
Today, there are numerous palaces, imperial gardens, temples, pagodas, stone carvings and other historical sites that are well preserved in Beijing, making the city one of the most scenic spots and historical cities China has to offer. If you ever travel to Beijing, plan to stay in Beijing for at least several days so that you have enough time to visit and tour all the historical sites around Beijing.