1. Home to a rich history of human habitation
Beijing, the capital of China, is home to a rich history of human habitation. Fossils of Homo Erectus, an extinct species of human, have been discovered in the city's caves, dating back an incredible 230,000 to 250,000 years. Meanwhile, Homo Sapiens, the modern human species, have been known to inhabit the area for at least 27,000 years. This makes Beijing one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
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2. Beijing's Air: Wear a Mask or Risk It?
Beijing is notorious for its poor air quality, especially during the winter months. The air pollution is so bad that many people are forced to wear face masks to protect themselves from the hazardous particles in the air. The air quality index (AQI) often exceeds the hazardous level, making it difficult for people to breathe and leading to a variety of health issues.
3. How Beijing Became a Cycling Mecca
Beijing is renowned for its vast number of cyclists, due to the city's flat terrain. This has led to an increase in the use of bicycles as a primary mode of transportation, with many locals opting to cycle to work or school. The city has also implemented a number of initiatives to encourage cycling, such as bike-sharing programs, dedicated bike lanes, and bike-friendly infrastructure. As a result, cycling has become an integral part of the city's culture, with many locals taking pride in their ability to navigate the city on two wheels.
4. " Riding the Subway"
Beijing is home to the third largest subway system in the world, boasting an impressive 17 lines, 227 stations, and 283 miles of track. This expansive network of underground transportation provides locals and visitors alike with an efficient and convenient way to explore the city. With its ever-growing network of lines, Beijing's subway system is a testament to the city's commitment to providing its citizens with reliable and accessible transportation.
5. Forbidden City: A Must-See in Beijing
Beijing is home to the iconic 'Forbidden City', a sprawling palace complex that served as the imperial residence from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Built in the 15th century, the Forbidden City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in China. It is comprised of 980 buildings, including the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony, and the Hall of Preserving Harmony, and covers an area of 72 hectares. The Forbidden City is a must-see for anyone visiting Beijing, offering a glimpse into the grandeur of China's imperial past.
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6. Beijing's population explodes
Beijing's population has seen a dramatic increase over the past decade, with the 2010 census showing a total population of 19,612,368 - a 44% increase from the 2000 census. This growth is indicative of the city's booming economy and its status as a major hub for business and culture in China. With its population continuing to grow, Beijing is sure to remain an important center of activity in the years to come.
7. First Catholic Church in Beijing Established in 1652
In 1652, the first Catholic church in Beijing was constructed, laying the foundation for the Nantang Cathedral which was built at the same site many years later. This church was a significant milestone in the history of Beijing, as it was the first of its kind in the city and marked the beginning of a long-standing relationship between the Catholic Church and the people of Beijing.
8. Ji: 11th Century BC Wall City in Beijing
The ancient city of Ji, located in what is now Beijing, was the first walled city in the area. Dating back to the 11th century B.C., Ji was a powerful city-state that lasted until the 7th century B.C. It was a major center of trade and culture, and its influence can still be seen in the city today. Its walls, which were made of rammed earth, were over 20 feet high and were designed to protect the city from invaders. The city was also home to a number of temples, palaces, and other important buildings, making it an important part of Beijing's history.
9. The Capital of China
Beijing has been the capital of China since the establishment of the Qing Dynasty in 1644, making it the longest-serving capital in the country's history. It was chosen as the sole capital of the Qing Dynasty, replacing the former capital of Nanjing, and has since become the political, economic, and cultural center of the nation. Beijing is home to some of China's most iconic landmarks, including the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the Summer Palace, and is a major tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors.
10. 20 nature reserves in Beijing protect city's diverse wildlife
Beijing is home to an impressive 20 nature reserves, which are dedicated to protecting the city's diverse wildlife. These reserves are home to a variety of species, including leopards, wolves, mandarin ducks, and many more. These reserves are essential for preserving the city's unique biodiversity, and are a testament to Beijing's commitment to protecting its natural environment.