The China of yesterday is one of the oldest civilizations known to man. In this land once ruled by Emperors, architectural remains tell the story of how people lived and worked. Located on the eastern part of Asia, the land covers 3.7 million square miles and has over 1.3 million people or one-fifth of the world’s population. In the cities, family apartments and office buildings compete for land space and high-rise structures often reach 50 floors.
1. Beijing, The Capital City
We begin our visit in Beijing, one of the six ancient capital cities of China. Tiananmen Square or “Gate of Heavenly Peace” is located in the heart of Beijing and is one of the world’s largest public squares.
Occupying an area of 720,000 square meters, stands the Forbidden City as commoners were forbidden entry for over 500 years. Also known as the Palace Museum, this municipality was the imperial palace of Ming and Qing dynasties. With construction beginning in 1406, the site boasts a history of 600 years. It is here that 24 emperors ruled China for nearly five centuries.
2. The Great Wall—One of the Wonders of Human Civilization
A short bus ride from Beijing is The Great Wall, one of the magnificent construction projects of ancient China. Astronauts report one of the defining moments in space is viewing the Great Wall that winds along like a 4,000 mile long dragon. During the seventh and eighth centuries B.C. and continuing for over 2000 years, over 20 dukes, princes and feudal dynasties contributed to its construction. Built to keep marauding barbarians from attacking the country, the wall also kept the people from leaving the area.
Carolyn Tomlin is a Jackson, Tennessee-based author that has been writing and publishing since 1988. She has authored 19 books and more than 4,000 articles in magazines such as Entrepreneur, Kansas City Star, American Profile, Tennessee Home & Farm, Home Life, Mature Living, ParentLife and many others. You can purchase her full-length works here.