Beijing Olympic Park
(北京奥林匹克公园 běi jīng ào lín pǐ kè gōng yuán)
Beijing Olympic Park was built for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympics. Occupying a total area of 2,864 acres, it is consists of a central section, the Olympic Forest Park and a comprehensive multifunctional activity center.
With an overall height of 132 meters (433 feet), Ling Long Tower is the highest building in the Olympic Park and functioned as the international broadcast center during the games. It features alternating colored lights at night.
The National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, lies to the south of Ling Long Tower. Covering an area of 204,000 square meters and a capacity of 91,000 people, it is where the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Games were held.
Its shape, a bird's nest, symbolizes mankind's hope for the future like a cradle for new lives. The unique structure of the Bird's Nest is of great value both in terms of art and architecture.
The National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, is near the Bird's Nest. Its design concept simulates the arrangement pattern of cells and natural structure of soap bubbles. The square Water Cube together with the round Bird's Nest embody an ancient Chinese concept that the sky is round while the earth is square. That is the way nature maintains harmony.
Olympic Forest Park was built for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and mainly serves as a site where athletes, coaches, and official staff can relax from tense competitions. In addition, tennis, shooting, and hockey competitions are held there.
As the largest urban green landscape in Asia and the largest park in Beijing, it became part of the city's back garden for sightseeing, recreation and sports after the Games finished. It’s a place for people to stroll among the greenery to breathe in the fresh air, ride a tandem bicycle through grassland and flowers or take a boat on the clear lake to see schools of koi. Olympic Forest Park has different sceneries for each season -- peach blossoms in spring, lotuses in summer, maple leafs in autumn and snow in winter. Flower shows are held for each of them.
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