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A city, an axis, this is Beijing

Updated: Oct 9, 2022 By Wang Junnian govt.chinadaily.com.cn Print
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Beijing, one of the most splendid cities in the world, has an axis running through the whole city, from the Drum and Bell Towers in the north to the Yongding gate in the south, resulting in a north-south undulating, left-right symmetrical architectural landscape. Through 700 years of development, it has become the backbone of Beijing. The central axis of Beijing captures the essence of ancient urban architecture and has witnessed the vicissitudes of the city.

Mr Liang Sicheng, a master architect in China, once praised it that the unique magnificent order of Beijing is endowed by the establishment of this central axis, and the grandeur of the spirit is on this scale extending from north to South and consistent to the end.

The Taihe Gate, or the Gate of Supreme Harmony, in the Forbidden City [Photo/Wang Junnian]

As a native of Beijing, since childhood, my family took me to visit the architectural relics on the central axis. Through the central axis, I approached the city of Beijing and developed a deeper understanding of the city’s culture. I am deeply connected to the prosperous city and love it ardently.

A distant view of the roof ridge beasts in the Forbidden City [Photo/Wang Junnian]

I am a Middle School student now and have been focused on the preservation of Chinese historical and cultural inheritance for many years. In 2018, I conducted a survey on the knowledge of the Central Axis of Beijing among my peers and my younger brother’s classmates. From the survey, I found that the younger generation does not know much about the history and architecture of Beijing's central axis, and social awareness is not very high. The government needs to do more to promote the Central Axis’s application to join the UNESCO World Heritage List. In the past few years, I have visited the fourteen cultural heritage sites of the central axis and learned more about the axis itself.

Exterior view of Qinian Hall, or the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, in the Temple of Heaven [Photo/Wang Junnian]

 

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