Introduction

Beijing
Beijing, pronounced Běijīng, is the capital of China. It is China’s ancient capital and foremost historical city. The Encyclopedia of Britannica describes Beijing as one of the world’s greatest cities and has been an integral part of China’s history.
Today, Beijing is one of the most famous cities in the world. It is a metropolis, covering an area of 17,000 km2 and a population of more than 15 million plus 5-6 million of transient population. Beijing is China’s cultural, economic, political and educational center.
Geographically, Beijing is located on the North China Plains, where the north China, northeast China and the Mongolian plateau meets. To the north, there is the Yan mountain range. To the west, there is the Xi Mountain and the Tai Hang mountain range. Towards the east and west, there is the Chao Bai and the Yong Ding rivers. Accordingly, Beijing is on an aggraded valley plain and the terrain is tilted from the northwest to the southeast.
Beijing city has 3000 years of history and 800 years of history as capital of China. Going back in time, from the 11th Century BC, Beijing was called “Ji”. It was a vassal city of Xi Zhou dynasty. Since then, the current name of Beijing has undergone numerous changes through history as different dynasties ruled China:

Spring Autumn Period (Dong Zhou dynasty) [722-482 B.C] -  Yan city

Han (205 BC – 220 AD) and Tang (618 – 906AD) dynasties, Beijing was called several different names such as “Yu Yang”, “You Zhou” et cetera.

In the 10th century, the Qidan (Khitan) population rose to prominence and founded the Liao dynasty. Beijing becomes one of the several capitals of Liao dynasty, called “Yan Jing”.

In the 12th century, the Jurchens ruled under the Jin dynasty and changed “Yan Jing” to “Beijing”.

The Mongols came down south in the 13th century. Kublai Khan ruled under the Yuan dynasty. The capital was expanded and changed the name “Yuan Da Du” in 1279.

In 1368 Ming dynasties was founded. The capital was Nanjing city. However, the third emperor of Ming, Zhu Di, moved the capital to Beijing in 1420. The Imperial Palace was finished then.

In 1644, Manchus came south through the Great Wall and founded the Qing dynasty with Beijing as the capital until 1911.

1912 Republic of China was founded. This ended feudalism in China. Nanjing was established as capital city.

In 1949, the Peoples’ Republic of China was formed with Beijing as capital.

Today, Beijing is an influential and world famous tourism city. Every year, there are 150 million people visiting Beijing.

 

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