Cultural Treasures of Beijing

Stock Photography By Dennis Kraft

China is an amazing country with a 5000 year old history, incredibly geography, delicious cuisine, and rich traditions. The city of Beijing with its estimated population of 21 million people, is not only one of the oldest cities in the world, but a power centre for politics, arts, commerce, education, and technology. For a traveller it is rich in cultural history and a must see for those travelling to China.

Beijing 02 National Stadium
Beijing 02 National Stadium
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Beijing 03 The  Great Hall of the People
Beijing 03 The Great Hall of
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Beijing 01
Beijing 01
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Temple of Heaven 02
Temple of Heaven 02
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© Dennis Kraft
Temple of Heaven 01
Temple of Heaven 01
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The Forbidden City 01
The Forbidden City 01
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The Forbidden City 09
The Forbidden City 09
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Forbidden City 10
Forbidden City 10
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The Forbidden City 08
The Forbidden City 08
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The Forbidden City 02
The Forbidden City 02
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The Forbidden City 03
The Forbidden City 03
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Forbidden City 11
Forbidden City 11
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The Forbidden City 07
The Forbidden City 07
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The Forbidden City  06 Temple Lion
The Forbidden City 06 Temple
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The Forbidden City 04
The Forbidden City 04
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The Forbidden City 05 Dragon
The Forbidden City 05 Dragon
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Beijing Summer Palace Lion 15
Beijing Summer Palace Lion 15
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© Dennis Kraft
Beijing Summer Palace Qilin 08
Beijing Summer Palace Qilin 08
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Beijing Summer Palace Lion 13
Beijing Summer Palace Lion 13
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Beijing Summer Palace The Hall of Dispelling Clouds 19
Beijing Summer Palace The Hall
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Summer Palace 02
Summer Palace 02
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Summer Palace 03 Kunming Lake
Summer Palace 03 Kunming Lake
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Beijing Summer Palace 05
Beijing Summer Palace 05
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Beijing Summer Palace Lion 18
Beijing Summer Palace Lion 18
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Beijing Summer Palace 07 Long Corridor Mural
Beijing Summer Palace 07 Long
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Summer Palace Tower of Buddhist Incense 01
Summer Palace Tower of Buddhist
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Beijing Summer Palace The Tower of Buddhist Incense 17
Beijing Summer Palace The Tower
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Summer Palace 04
Summer Palace 04
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Beijing Summer Palace Marble Boat 10
Beijing Summer Palace Marble
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Beijing Summer Palace Roof Decorations 16
Beijing Summer Palace Roof
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Beijing Summer Palace 06
Beijing Summer Palace 06
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Beijing Summer Palace Four Great Regions Structure 14
Beijing Summer Palace Four
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Beijing Summer Palace Paifang 09
Beijing Summer Palace Paifang
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Beijing Summer Palace Suzhou Street 11
Beijing Summer Palace Suzhou
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© Dennis Kraft
Beijing Summer Palace Suzhou Street 12
Beijing Summer Palace Suzhou
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© Dennis Kraft

 

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Image Details for Cultural Treasures of Beijing

1. Beijing 02 National Stadium. The Beijing National Stadium or Bird's Nest Stadium was jointly designed by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. It was built for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and will be used for the 2022 Olympics as well. The cost to build it was $428 million US.

2. Beijing 03 The Great Hall of the People . One of the 10 great constructions of the PRC , the Great Hall of the People was first opened in 1959. It serves as the meeting place for multiple events including the National People's Congress which occurs every year in March, the Chinese People's Political Consultive Conference, the Central Committee, and the National Congress of the Communist Party of China. ,

3. Beijing 01. Qian Men Pedestrian Street has undergone many changes in the past fifty years. It runs North into Tiananmen Square and the Arrow Tower at the South of the Square can be seen in the distance. This is a high tourist area with numerous side streets and a lively night market. In this photo the street is decked in red lanterns for Spring Festival.

4. Temple of Heaven 02. The Temple of Heaven is a symbolic and iconic architectural structure located in Beijing. Construction began on it in 1406 and it was used in religious ceremonies tied to successful harvests. In 1998 it was named a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is 36 metres in diameter, 38 metres in height and constructed from wood without the use of nails. The symbolism of the temple in part denotes the connection between earth (square) and heaven (circular) aspects of the design.

5. Temple of Heaven 01. The Temple of Heaven is a symbolic and iconic architectural structure located in Beijing. Construction began on it in 1406 and it was used in religious ceremonies tied to successful harvests. In 1998 it was named a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is 36 metres in diameter, 38 metres in height and constructed from wood without the use of nails. The symbolism of the temple in part denotes the connection between earth (square) and heaven (circular) aspects of the design.

6. The Forbidden City 01. The main entrance to the Forbidden City is the Tiananmen Gate overlooking Tiananmen Square that was designed to hold one million people. A picture of Chairman Mao hangs over the main entrance. The Forbidden City constructed in 1420, would be the home of 24 Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties and carry out it's function as the location of the head of the Chinese government until 1912. The name Forbidden comes from the authority of the Emperor who alone, could decide who could enter

7. The Forbidden City 09. This is a photo of the Gate of Heavenly Peace of the Forbidden city from Tiananmen Square. The square is also bordered by the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China in the square on October 1, 1949. Tiananmen Square is within the top ten largest city squares in the world.

8. Forbidden City 10. This temple lion is located within the Forbidden City in Beijing. Temple Lions are usually set in pairs in front of important buildings. There is usually a male and a female who may have her paw on a cub.

9. The Forbidden City 08. The Forbidden City or Imperial Palace, or Ancient Palace as it is also known has been undergoing major renovations for well over a decade. In 2002 when the restoration began only 30 percent was accessible to the public. The goal is to have 80 percent of the complex open to the public by 2020.

10. The Forbidden City 02. The Forbidden City exhibits the culmination of thousands of years of Chinese architecture and design. It was meticulously laid out and planned and many aspects of the palace have deep religious or symbolic meaning.

11. The Forbidden City 03. In 1420 the Forbidden City was completed in the city of Beijing. It was the Imperial Palace of the Emperor's family and took 14 years and over a million men to construct. The site has 980 buildings including Imperial Museums for the Ming and Qing dynasties.

12. Forbidden City 11.

13. The Forbidden City 07. The Forbidden City is the largest palace complex in the world with 980 buildings, 3.5 km of wall and a surrounding moat.

14. The Forbidden City 06 Temple Lion. One of the draws of the Forbidden City are the artifacts and artwork that is contained within the complex. Guardian Lions are common in front of palaces,temples banks and buildings of importance. They have their roots in Indian Buddhism and were adopted as a symbol of protection and guardianship when Buddhism spread into China.

15. The Forbidden City 04. Yellow is an important colour in the palace as it was the colour of the emperor. Each year an estimated 16 million tourists come to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

16. The Forbidden City 05 Dragon. One of the draws of the Forbidden City are the artifacts and artwork that is contained within the complex. This ceramic mosaic is one of the Nine Dragons of the Nine Dragon Wall. It was built in 1771. There is a similar wall in Beijing in Behia park.

17. Beijing Summer Palace Lion 15. One of the lion or foo dogs guarding the Eastern edge of the Summer Palace. Lion's were considered the King of Beasts in China and symbols of power. They protected the country and imperial rule.

18. Beijing Summer Palace Qilin 08. This stature is of a mythological Qilin. It is believed that the sculpture had its original roots based on giraffes. A Qilin was a creature of great good that usually appeared at the beginnings and ends of regimes. They were considered very lawful were vegetarian and could walk on water or air.

19. Beijing Summer Palace Lion 13. One of the lion or foo dogs guarding the Eastern edge of the Summer Palace. Lions were considered the King of Beasts in China and symbols of power. They protected the country and imperial rule.

20. Beijing Summer Palace The Hall of Dispelling Clouds 19. Below Longevity Hill and in front of Kunming Lake lies The Hall of Dispelling Clouds.

21. Summer Palace 02. The beautiful Summer Palace in Beijing is located 20 Km North of the central city of Beijing and is the largest and best surviving Imperial Garden in China. First constructed around 1750 and added to over the centuries, it is a collection of buildings, pathways, islands, set around Kunming lake and Longevity Hill where theTower of Buddhist Incense looms over the area. The area was designated a World Heritage site in 1998.

22. Summer Palace 03 Kunming Lake . The beautiful Summer Palace in Beijing is located 20 Km North of the central city of Beijing and is the largest and best surviving Imperial Garden in China. Kunming Lake was dug out by hand and the soil was used to create the 61 metre high Longevity Hill that looms above the lake.

23. Beijing Summer Palace 05. The summer palace contains numerous halls and pavilions such as this one found on the East side of Longevity Hill.

24. Beijing Summer Palace Lion 18. A Chinese lion watches over a courtyard in the Eastern section of the Summer Palace while a tired visitor rests against a pillar.

25. Beijing Summer Palace 07 Long Corridor Mural. This painted mural is one of many found in the 7528 Metre Long Corridor is a covered walkway constructed in the mid 18th century. The murals within the corridor contain classical scenes from Chinese mythology and folklore including the four classic novels of China and The 24 Exemplars.

26. Summer Palace Tower of Buddhist Incense 01. The beautiful Summer Palace in Beijing is located 20 Km North of the central city of Beijing and is the largest and best surviving Imperial Garden in China. First constructed around 1750 and added to over the centuries, it is a collection of buildings, pathways, islands, set around Kunming lake and Longevity Hill where theTower of Buddhist Incense looms over the area. The area was designated a World Heritage site in 1998.

27. Beijing Summer Palace The Tower of Buddhist Incense 17. Shown in the photograph high on Longevity Hill is the Tower of Buddhist Incense. The building is 41 metres in height and was a place of Buddhist worship. It is an octagonal shape made of wood and built on wood and constructed on a stone foundation that is 21 metres high. It is considered a masterpiece of architecture.

28. Summer Palace 04. The beautiful Summer Palace in Beijing is located 20 Km North of the central city of Beijing and is the largest and best surviving Imperial Garden in China. First constructed around 1750 and added to over the centuries, it is a collection of buildings, pathways, islands, set around Kunming lake and Longevity Hill where theTower of Buddhist Incense looms over the area. The area was designated a World Heritage site in 1998.

29. Beijing Summer Palace Marble Boat 10. The marble boat was also known as the Boat of Purity and Ease. It was first erected in 1755. After Anglo French forces destroyed it in 1860, the Empress Dowager Cixi had it and much of the Imperial Garden restored using money that was earmarked for the Chinese navy. The boat is 36 metres long and inanition to a stone base has a significant amount of wood painted to look like marble.

30. Beijing Summer Palace Roof Decorations 16. Roof decorations go back in time in China to the Han dynasty - 206 BC to 220 AD. At the edge of the roof is a man riding a chicken or phoenix and closer to the building a dragon known as Chiwen. The dragon symbolized protection from fire. Between the two were animals with different meanings all related to protecting the building. The more animals, the more important the building. The glaze of this building is Imperial yellow reserved for the imperial family.

31. Beijing Summer Palace 06. The summer palace contains numerous halls and pavilions such as this one found on the West side of Longevity Hill.

32. Beijing Summer Palace Four Great Regions Structure 14. On the North side of Longevity Hill was a temple complex based on aTibetan model. The structure is known as the Four Great Regions and this is one of the towers of the complex. Note the Imperial yellow glaze of the roof tiles and the intricate paint work just below the roof.

33. Beijing Summer Palace Paifang 09. A paifang is a decorated gate used to segregate communities or areas. They are found throughout Asia. This beautiful paifang lies on the Western side of the park.

34. Beijing Summer Palace Suzhou Street 11. On the North of the Hill of Longevity lies Suzhou Street. An area of the Imperial Garden that was designed to imitate the Suzhou Water Town. Here, the Imperial Family and select nobles could pretend to be shopping in Suzhou while Eunuchs and concubines played the parts of shopkeepers.

35. Beijing Summer Palace Suzhou Street 12. On the North of the Hill of Longevity lies Suzhou Street. An area of the Imperial Garden that was designed to imitate the Suzhou Water Town. Here, the Imperial Family and select nobles could pretend to be shopping in Suzhou while Eunuchs and concubines played the parts of shopkeepers.

 

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