Category: Cultural Relics Sites
Address: Jianguomen bridge, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Open Time: Daily 9:00am - 5:00pm
Entrance fee: 5 Yuan/p.p
Introduction of Beijing Ancient Observatory
Beijing Ancient Observatory, situated at the southeast corner of Beijing's Jianguomen Bridge, was initially built circa 1442, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Its rich history spans more than five hundred years, making it one of the most historically interesting observatories in the world.
During the Ming Dynasty it was known as the 'Platform of Star-Watching', but its name was later changed to 'Observatory' during the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911). After the Revolution of 1911, the title became 'Central Observatory'. The observatory was renovated in the early 1980s and reopened to the public in 1983. todya, the Ancient Observatory has become the 'Beijing Ancient Astronomical Instruments Display Hall', an affiliate of the Beijing Observatory.
In total, the observatory covers an area of 1,000 square meters (about 0.25 acre). It is divided into two parts, the platform and the affiliated building. The platform is 17.79 meters (about 58.4 feet) high, 24 meters (about 78.7 feet) long and 20 meters (about 65.6 feet) wide. Eight bronzed astronomical instruments stand on this platform, all of which are ornately carved, having been well preserved since the time of the Qing Dynasty.
They are huge but exquisitely carved. The design of the instruments reflects both the influence of Oriental craftsmanship & European Renaissance understanding of measurements and physics. Under platform stands a group of affiliated buildings, built with simple elegance. Beijing Ancient Observatory is a milestone in Chinese architecture, marking a cultural exchange between the Orient and the West. It is not only a place to observe the heaven but a unique historical treasure.
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