This page was last updated on: June 17, 2017
Dongcheng Landmarks & Hot-Spots Menu (1)
DongCheng District
Monuments and Hotspots
The Central Line, western border of  DongCheng District
Beijing Police Museum
Exclusive Photo Impression of the Beijing Police Museum, only at The Beijing Reporter
Forbidden City - Palace Museum
The Beijing Police Museum is the Proud Showcase of the Cities Police Force and Beijing's Public Security Bureau. This special report gives a thorough Impression of what to expect and find at this interesting museum on Beijing Police, the History of the City, the revolution and how the security bureau helped build a City and Nation. In addition Photos and Descriptions of Beijing Police Uniforms & units, and additional photos and information Beijing Police Cars and Vehicles.
The Absolute Jewel in the Crown and Centerpiece of The Imperial Capital Beijing is The Imperial Palace. Once known as the Forbidden City, now a Tourist Magnet drawing millions of Visitors a Year , the Palace Museum or Gugong is a District in itself. The entire Complex stretches over 1.2 kilometers Northward ( 1.5 from TiananMen Square ) and is a Kilometer wide. The Beijing Report is the one and only website giving you the chance at an (almost complete) Virtual Walkthrough of this World Heritage Site. The Largest Wooden Palace Structure in the World, home to many a Fine Art Collection. A Museum filled with Museums. Dating from the year 1644, 3rd Reign of The Ming Dynasty ( Yong Lu ) the Imperial Palace is an Architectural Wonder.
DongHua Men Night Market
First Impression & Photos of Dong'Hua Men Night Market, Off Wanfujing Dajie'
On a Stones throw East of the Forbidden Cities' Historic East Flowery Gate, Dong'An Men Night Market is not in use during daytime hours, but springs to life immediatly in the Late Afternoon and at Night. Enjoy all kinds of Chinese Snacks and rare fast foods, such as Squid-on-a-Stick, silkworms, Chinese Kebab ( the latest ), scorpions, goat-eyes, and more. Lured by all of these delicious Foods, Beijingers and Tourists alike Flock to Dong'An Men Night Market to get a Taste and a Bite. It is easy to Find, just North of Dong An Plaza at Super Shopping Street Wanfujing. So join the Line if you can !
Dongjiaomin Catholic Church
Photographic Introduction to the Dongjiaomin Church at the Former Legation Quarter
Located inconspicuously near ChongwenMen in the Former Foreign Legation of the Imperial City of Beijing, this small Roman Catholic Church used to be the warm and beating Heart of the European Community in the Beijing. A historic Little Church rising in Souther Dongcheng District Dongjioamin Church is still active and has Chinese Language and English Language masses throughout the Year. When touring the district, be sure to enjoy the odd view of its European Spires. If you can - catch a Mass and enjoy the secret insides of the historic building.
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Oriental Plaza Complex and Malls
Visit the Huge Oriental Plaza and Shopping Malls
At Oriental Plaza a new kind of Beijing can be seen and experienced. Once the 1st Big and Modern Mall in Beijing (after Lufthansa Center) this humonguos shopping mall was built and known as Beijing's Millenium Masterpiece and was opened accordingly around the start of the Year 2000. Located at Dong ChangÁn Jie' , Avenue East Eternal Peace Avenue cornering Wanfujing Street the Oriental Plaza is the Centre of the Hip, modern and excruciatingly expensive. Enjoy some Upscale Shopping, Stay at Hyatt Oriental Plaza Hotel, explore at Sony Explora-Science or the Small Wanfujing Paleolithic Museum. Anything the Poche shopping addict needs, in style, at Oriental Plaza !
Shopping Tips
Go Shopping at Beijing's No1 Street - Old WanFuJing - revived in 1999 AD for the Millenium !!
Today revived, Wanfujing remains popular, both with the upwardly mobile local public and the truly chique and the high mark set by some of the brands with stores in Wanfujing are only topped by those found at Oriental Plaza adjacent. Thus Wanfujing still is the A location for catering to the A Grade Public in the A Level city of Beijing.  At number one fashion and commercial street of the city luxury brands abound and can be bought for proces rating well above the average salary in the city today.
Wanfujing Shopping Street
Bicycle-Cart Rider in Xiaojiao Hutong, Dongcheng District Bejing, China
Bicycle-Cart Rider in Xiaojiao Hutong, Dongcheng District Bejing, China Photographic Print
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Park of the Peoples Culture
Stroll through the Park o/t Peoples Culture
A former Part of the Imperial Palace City of the Past, since 1949 AD the Park of the Peoples Culture is small and easily overlooked strip of green between Chang An - Eternal Peace Avenue and the Palace Museum of Today. From TianAnMen due East follow the flow of the Water while enjoying a garden landscape with rockeries, arched bridges and abundant flowers. Escape the City Heat and Noise at the Park of the Peoples Culture.
Foreign Legation Quarter (Former)
The War-zone during the 1900 AD Boxer War in Beijing and the location of the European Legations from 1861 AD to (officially) 1959 AD, the history of the Beijing Legations Quarter speaks to the imagination of many. Currently Home to the Beijing Municipality Government, Beijing Communist Party Committee Headquarters and The Beijing and National Public Security Bureaus, the Beijing Legations are Central to the Administration of the City. Have a walk around our pages and discover more about the left-over relics and legations.
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Location of the DongCheng District of Beijing -
Find DongCheng District as part of the old city center of Beijing as the north eastern quarter of the area enclosed by the second ring road. Dongcheng District borders with Haidian District in the north, Chaoyang District in the north east and the east, with Chongwen District in the South and finally on Xicheng District in the west. The last district of the Old City, the Xuanwu District is situated to the south west of Dongcheng District.

Geographical Borders of the DongCheng District of Beijing -
Historically created during the early 15Th Century as part of the new Capital of the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD) Empire and layed out in accordance with the needs of Feng Shui (Geomancy), during its original days the precise demarcation of the borders of the Dongcheng District made perfect sense. That is, it was the eastern half of the northernmost section of the city, the part that was surrounded by a huge city wall and was the preserved territory for the Elite, as well as the location of the Imperial Palace.
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Mao Zedong Former Home
Dongdan Park
Get away from the Traffic at Green Dongdan Park !
Located just South of Oriental Plaza East flank on DongDan Bei Dajie' Dongdan Park is the inconspicuous smallest park in the City of Beijing.
Home of some Revolutionary History and part of the Former Legations Quarter, Dongdan Park has little to offer but exercise, green and leisure Time. That is until night time when apperently it turns into a gay meeting point. Read about the most controversial little park in Beijing.
Explore the Hutong Area North of the Forbidden City - the Only Remaining Hutong Tour ?
Jingshan Hutong Tour
Jingshan Dajie Pailou
The Ancient Ceremonial Wooden Archway (Pailou) at Jingshan Dajie'. Now resorted and no longer over-arching Jingshan Boulevard.
The Pailou is one of the Last remaining such gates in Beijing. It is also the location of the historic events of December the 12Th 1936 AD, recorded in photo and word by James Bertram in his book "First Act in China"(1936)
Eye Witness Account from History !!
Source Book "First Act China"
( available from Amazon)
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Hidden away due South-East of the Palace Museums Eastern Flowery Gate stands the (former) Imperial Library Vault, an adnex site of the Imperial Palace of Emperors. With its entrance in the West at Nanchizi Dajie, the Library Vault grounds have their own walled enclosure, decorated three tiered gate, a stele and bell-tower and more recently, its very own modern art Gallery, the Wanfung Gallery of Beijing. Visit the Library Vault for a bonus to your visit to the Palace or enjoy it when searching for some modern art !
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Hike around the Jingshan Area Hutong on your own or follow a Tourgroup. With the destruction of the xuanwu- and chongwen-district Hutong, tour operators have moved business to this far less interesting Hutong Area.
Funny Chinese People and Snacks at the Dong'An Men or Wanfujing Night Market. Wanna Bite a Snake ? That is just one option one can choose from here !
(East) Chang An Avenue
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Stroll through the Park o/t Peoples Culture
The widest Boulevard in Asia and now part of the Longest Avenue as well, East Chang An- Eternal Peace Avenue has always been a main route and a place where things happened in Beijing. In the Past the scene of impressive and Grand Military Reviews,
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Dongcheng District in Sections:
(1) Central Axis of the Old City and Western Border of Dongcheng
(2) North Central Section
(3) North East Corner
(4) Eastern Dongcheng District
(5) South Central and South East Corner
(6) Scattered Monuments & Landmarks of Dongcheng.
Head North from Beijing's landmark Bell-Tower and dwell into the Hutong to find one of Beijing's lesser but most significant landmarks, one of the early residences of "Chairman" Mao Zedong himself ! Find the House where Mao lived in 1919 AD with his Teacher and Mentor and head down Beancurd Pond Lane to follow on the Path of the Chinese Revolution. Mao's true socialist education began here, in Beijing and at nearby peking University.
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Head to the Bell Tower, Market and surrounding Hutong !
Beijing Bell Tower & Market
Go Climb the Drum Tower and enjoy a View of Beijing !
Beijing Drum Tower and Hutong
Parades of Eager Communist Youth and Bloody Protest, today's Chang An Avenue is modern and booming. With the No.1 Historic and Elitist Hotel in Beijing as well as Oriental Plaza and Chang An Club, Chang An keeps happening into the 21st Century.
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Map of the popular ShichaHai (3 Lakes) area of Beijing Old City.
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This page was last updated on: June 17, 2017
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Even though no doubt 100 hundreds of ancient buildings and landmarks have been lost in the pre-Olympic reconstruction of the city in the old city section of the Dongcheng District alone, after all these years of destruction, reconstruction and development there are still plenty landmarks, monuments and museums to visit for any traveler and tourist coming to Beijing. As for the Dongcheng District, sometimes the available options still feel as nearly unlimited. To give you at an least an option of overviewing the various places one might visit while enjoying walks about the city, we have tried to arrange the selection available into groups organized by location and section of the Dongcheng District.

Beijing's Famous Square of Heavenly Peace -
For most first time visitors to the city, the main attractions will be the great buildings and structures of the Central Line of the Old Imperial City. Therefor the area's of Dongcheng District highlighted here begin in the south where the central line culminates in the Monuments of the Square of Heavenly Peace, beginning with the Front Gate (Qianmen) at its south side and ending on the north side with the famous National Landmark, the Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tian'An Men). This entire area is highlighted within its very own Chapter under the name "Square of Heavenly Peace" and holds various sections on the buildings surrounding the square and the various monuments held within.

The Palace Museum a.k.a. the Forbidden City -
To the North of the Square of Heavenly Peace lies another even larger area of great interest, as this is the space occupied the former Imperial Palace of China, now known as the Palace Museum
but usually refered to as the "Forbidden City" by the majority of Foreign visitors. According to legend holding 9 thousand nine hundred and 99 rooms (in reality a lesser number), the Palace Museum of Beijing is the largest such Palace and Museum ever constructed in history and, although reduced in size from its heydays during the Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD), holds a vast area to discover which is so large and so rich in historic monuments and attached tales that it is also represented under its very own Chapter under the name: "Palace Museum -
Forbidden City". Again, sections discuss the various geographic parts of the Palace Museum Ground and pages are dedicated to each historic structure and place Hall to be found within.

Area of Dongcheng District; the area urrounding Tiananmen Square -
The entire zone lying east adjacent the massive Square of Heavenly Peace has a history under the name "Foreign legation Quarter" and around the turn of the 20Th Century was the center of
Foreign enclave in the city and the prime area of international contact with the ruling and declining Qing Dynasty. Over time, the Legations Quarter became the prime foreign area of the city and several now famous persons were household guests in the houses, Embassies and Hotels strewn throughout the District. Apart from the Last Emperor Pu Yi, his tutor Sir Reginald Fleming Johnston and the International Diplomatic World, there were International Financiers a plenty, as well as the noteable few adventurers, writers and journalists. In one way or another, everyone knew everyone and so most Foreigners found themselved welcomed back within the small enclave whenever they arrived, passed  or returned. Interestingly, ordinary Chinese were banned from what was in effect a Foreign Occupied Zone.
This area of interest extends roughly between the east flank of the Square of Heavenly Peace in the west and the Dongdan Park in the east, and further between the Eastern part of the Avenue of Eternal Peace in the north and Qianmen East Street taking
up the space formerly reserved for both the city wall and the moat, in the south.

Famously, for those familiar with Chinese History, the so called Legations became the prime battleground of about of revolutionary Chinese fervor, which after building up in the surrounding provinces struck the Capital City of Beijing in the year 1900 AD. It was time of great panic when Foreigners, especially Christians were being targeted and everyone who could reach it fled for safety withing the Foreign Legations Quarter. After this initial phase, the entire zone lay besieged by both the
Although the Dynasty has fallen and the Colonial Era has long since the past, after what is now over 100 years of historic struggle, in the time of the new and modern Beijing, the area is still of considerable historic interest. Apart from its most visible and most recognized landmark, the Church of Saint Michael (Dongjiaomin Alley Church), and the very visible remains of the Svedish Embassy along the southern rim of the quarter, it holds among things the remaining compounds of the British
Embassy, The American Embassy, The Japanese Embassy - now turned into a special military administrative zone, The Japanese Bank, the American Bank turned into the Beijing Police Museum and other Foreign Banks, as well as the early Foreign Hotel, the Hotel Des Wagon Lits and a variety of other sites of interest.
Again due to the multitude of structures to be found as well as the complex history involved, the entire former Foreign Legation Quarter Section of the Dongcheng District has also been described within its very own Chapter under the name "Foreign Legations Quarter".
Inside the zone that once made of the Foreign Legations Quarter of the city, now lie the headquarters of the Communist Party of Beijing, a section reserved for the city Government and since nearly a decade also the new headquarters of the National Public Security Bureau of the Nation. While dwelling around the streets and alleys looking for the historic remains and left-overs of the Colonial Legations as they were a 100 years ago, you will most likely note that it is a highly secured area, where armed guards, various forms of patrols and heavily guarded gates are no exception but rather the rule. Trod along carefully, well aware that your camera will be noticed and kept an eye upon. Most guarded Gates strewn in the area, many of which are exactly those belonging to the old Embassy compounds are not allowed to be photographed.
of joining the main mass of tourists heading to the Palace Museum via the central line, one can also dwell on the eastern fringes of the larger grounds of the former Imperial Palace. Here one can discover its red chalked outer wall as found along the north flank of the Avenue of Eternal Peace, learn the former locations of its gates and then sightsee both the water-stream that traveled through the Imperial and the site of what was the only stone building in the Imperial Palace, a special building to keep an important Library.

The south east corner of the larger Imperial Palace that existed at the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD) has been turned into the Park of the Imperial Ancestral Shrine in addition to which the river that flows through the grounds of the Palace has been turned into the Park of the Peoples Culture.
Find a description and photo's of the spacious gardens and courts of the Tai Maio, or
Imperial Shrine of Heaven used by the Manchu Imperial Family in the Chapter on the Palace Museum (or click through here).
As for the Park of the Peoples Culture, based upon the little river that feeds from the former Imperial Palace this is a lenghty park, which divided in two sections, lies just inside the red chalked wall set on the north side of East Eternal Peace Avenue. Beginning in the west at the flank of the Gate of Heavenly Peace it travels parallel to the Grand Avenue to end adjacent the Grand Hotel Beijing. Inside the narrow space of the park lie several interesting surprises which make the Park interesting to include in a walk through the area. With restored hutong siding the north of the water, several monuments are found along the length of the river, while artistically designed bridges, flowers and trees complete the decor in which to seek rest from the surrounding bustle of the inner city.

The surrounding hutong are also pleasant spaces to dwell in. Set in the much noisier South Chizi Road, to the north of the Park of the Peoples Culture and on the north side of the river, one can gain access to the Courts of the former Imperial Library, the only stone building to be a part of the historical Imperial Palace. Just beyond on the other side of the road a hutong gives access to the east gate of the Imperial Shrine of Heaven (Tai Miao) while even further up the road one can turn off and see the East Gate of the Imperial Palace.
More to the East, not coincidentally close to Imperial Palace lies Wanfujing, today once more the most important commercial street in the city center of Beijing. As one can best judge when approaching from the south along East Eternal Peace Avenue, it is all prime property there.
Spreading out towards the East, the Oriental Plaza complex was opened in Beijing in the year 1999 AD, reigniting commercial interest in the area. This sprawling complex now still dominates the southern end of the zone, however it is technically not a part of Wanfujing Street proper but stands along East Eternal Peace Avenue (Dong Chang'An Jie). The entire Oriental Plaza building is a huge Mall annex Hotel annex Luxury Office appartments and can take hours to
browse for its wonders and facilities.
Those who would like stay away from shopping just yet may turn north from East Eternal Peace Avenue to walk northward and pass Oriental Plaza to end up in the thriving commercial heart of being, the main section of Wanfujing Street. Already regarded as Beijing's Number One Shopping Street in the years of the last feudal Dynasties now long faded from common memory, Wanfujing remained to no.1 address for class distinction even in the darkest days of China under the Communist frenzies of the rule of "Emperor" Mao Zedong. It was him who ordered his costumes there and his Minister Zhou Enlai frequented its still famous photo studio still famous under the number of its address Number 51.
Since the economic boom of China took off and the Nation turned into a fresh millenium the face of Wanfujing Street and its reputation have been a refelection of the economic success of the nation of China as a whole.
Following the pattern of its historic tradition, only the best brands and the most expensive have been represented at Wanfujing. Thus, in various ways it can be said that what can be seen at Wanfujing is what China wants you to see at Wanfujing in Beijing.
Located on the Northern End of Beijing's Main shopping street Wanfujing, the East Church is one of the Romantic Highlights of the Modern Shopping Centre of the City. Built on the Location where the first official Jesuit Ceremony was held in Beijing in 1655 AD, Todays restored Wanfujing Cathedral is one of the Four Main Churches in Beijing and a favorite spot for newly weds to have their Photos taken, local musicians to play their tune and for everyone to have a rest and enjoy the Beijing Scenery.
Wanfujing Cathedral - East Church
Wanfujing is Beijing's flagship commercial street, no doubt. Beijing knows Wanfujing and although there are now theoretically many other Mall area's one could take refuge at, Wanfujing remains familiar and popular among both Beijing locals and the forever arriving and searching Foreign public.

What not everyone may realize, Wanfujing Street proper extends much further north than the main pedestrian shopping zone so popular with the
greater public in the past decade.  Beyond its intersection with Jinyu Hutong on the east side and
Dong'An Street on the west side, Wanfujing continues for another kilometer or more, passing among things the popular scenic site of the Eastern Church, the Saint Joseph also dubbed Wanfujing Cathedral.
Thus, after enjoying a walk trough Wanfujing Street exploring its various stores, malls and brands, at the very least take a break for yourself by chilling down at the scenic Wanfujing Cathedral, or take in chunk of wild culinary culture by visiting the nearby tourist magnet of some acclaim, the so called Wanfujing Night Market at adjacent Dong'An Street.
Several other historic locations and buildings can be found in the area around the shopping zone. One among these is the archeoligical relic of the Dong'An Gate site. This Gate has long since been destroyed, but in the last years of the ailing Qing Dynasty it was renowned as the easternmost gate of the larger Imperial Palace and as such was a Gate that stood beyond and to the east of the Donghuamen (East Flowery gate) of the Forbidden City that is so obvious today. Outside the Dong'An Gate lay the fresh produce market that provided the Imperial Palace with its goods and it is the legacy of this market that later founded the popular and somehwat goofy scorpion sticks, and silk worm roast of the current "Night Market". Not many foreign tourists will known of its existence or then how to find its exact location but one can descend into a pit nearby to have a look at some of the uncovered foundations.
Structures along the northern Central Line of the Old City -
Having explored and discussed some of the main tourist sites of the Dongcheng District already there still remain plenty of impressive monuments, smaller historical buildings, museum and other wonders to choose from. Coming back to the central line of the city that corresponds with the western border of the Dongcheng District, beyond the Forbidden City lies the fairly large Jingshan Park (Jingshan Gongyuan).

For those who quit the effort and returned to their Hotels after walking through both the Square of
Jingshan Park / Coal Hill / Prospect Hill
Explore Jingshan Park and View the Forbidden City from the Hill !
Jingshan Park with its dominating or Prospect Hill may not be missed on your Visit to Beijing. Located exactly North of the Imperial Palace Museum grounds (Forbidden City) and adjacent to BeiHai Park, Jingshan Park is small but a Highlight. Home to Coal Hill with its 5 historic Buddha Pavilions, Jing Shan itself, the Coal Hill, offers a breath taking view of the entire city skyline in all directions. From Wan Chun Pavilion, the pavillion of eternal spring, one has a unique overview of the entire Imperial Palace, revealing its lay-out, offering great photo-opportunities and an unforgettable memory of Beijing.
Heavenly Peace and the Imperial Palace, the Jingshan Park forms an excellent reason to return another day and explore the parts of the Dongcheng District situated due north and beyond of the north gate of the vast Imperial Palace. Itself a former part of the larger Imperial City and as a pleasure garden reserved for only the Emperor and his closest following, the Jingshan park formed a continuation of the Imperial Palace itself and as such has enough scenic sites for anyone to browse about inside its gates and walls for several hours.
The main tourist attraction is the hike to the top of the Hill, a location that used to be the highest point of the city during its feudal era. From the top one gets a unique overview of the symetrically
established Palace Grounds and Pavilions. In addition, one can view beyond to make out the Square of Heavenly Peace in the distance to the south, or turn around to see the Bell and Drum Towers marking the path of the Central Axis more to the north.

Looking westward from the Coal Hill one can see parts of another main Gem of the City, the adjacent Beihai (North lake) Park which encompasses a surface area much larger than that of Jingshan Park. This large park however is discussed in its very own Chapter which forms a part of
East of the Forbidden City - Park of the Peoples Culture and Wanfujing Area -
As the former Foreign Legations Quarter was so positioned as to be annoyingly or if one wants conveniently close to the Imperial Palace, one only needs to move north across the Eastern Section of Eternal Peace Avenue (Dong Chang'An Jie') to start on a discovery of its historical sites. Instead
the Reports on the Xicheng District of Beijing. Equally a seperate Chapter deals with the secretive Zhongnanhai (Middle & South Lake) Compound.The lake area situated even more to the north beyond Beihai is known as the Shichahai Lake Area, and is also discussed under the Xicheng District.

When through exploring the extends of Jingshan Park, there are obviously plenty of directions to go in. Depending on your remaining energy you might be seduced to engage in a local Hutong tour, one of the few remaining in town, or head westward and cross into the Xicheng District. Below the Jingshan lies the appealing moat and scenery of the Forbidden City with an often overlooked restored and thus semi-historical relic known as the Jingshan Dajie Pailou. Although most passing foreigners will not have a clue, this is the location where an important student protest marched past in the
year 1936, in the words of James Betram only to be broken up by "the mausers and swords" of the Police assembled by a Pro-Japanese Government.
Other places of interest lying fairly near the Jingshan Hill are the May the 4Th 1919 Movement Monument and the China Art Gallery a short distance beyond. These are discribed below in another section dealing with locations scattered around the Dongcheng District but not part of the clusters of Monuments particular popular with the tourist public.

Having passed the center of the Palace Museum and Jingshan, the Coal Hill, the all important and supposedly magic Cenral Axis of the old city of Beijing continues along Dianmen Street, to connect with the Gulou or Drum Tower. Together these are the last two structures of the central axis forming the western border of the Dongcheng District. Although they are visible from the ridge of Jingshan, these structures stand at quite a distance beyond the Jingshan Park further up north, too far away and otherwise along too disinteresting a route to consider making the walk. Hop along in a taxi cab, or find an unlucky rickshaw driver to take you the way through the usually abundant traffic on Dianmen Inner Street to bridge the several mile gap from the east or west gate of Jingshan Park.
Although that might be better done another day, you might take a detour to head past the Former Residence of Mao Dun, now a Museum.

Once having reached the Drum Tower, which stands on the north end of Dianmen Inner Street, there is yet again plenty to explore. Again one could become very active and explore the area to the
from the Bell Tower stands the preserved location of the first ever residence in Beijing of Mao Zedong occupied in Beijing. Although but a very modest house, one of the thousands in this area alone at the time, it is a small museum to which a visit must not be missed. Mao Zedong lived there right after his arrival in Beijing in 1919, coming from Changsha and, via a job at the University Library run by Li Dazhao, to head for a one of the greatest political careers in the history of all of China. Today it is but a very modest dwelling in a back road, giving opportunity to dwell in comfortable silence while giving thought to Mao's achievements and most of all his faults.

A visit to Mao Zedong's Former Residence near the Bell Tower completes a full tour of the Landmarks of the western border of the Dongcheng District. There are however several other zones to be found within this large district. When in
the city, be curious and study the available pages on the other sections of Dongcheng District, these being the north central section with the Lama Temple, Confucius Temple as well as Imperial College; the eastern section with the oldest Ming Era Temple, The Zhihua Monastery and the ultra modern Galaxy Soho Building.
Choose from below menu to navigate your way.
Although the Bell Tower is the last and final monument to be found along the exact central axis of the Old Imperial City of Beijing, there is one last place to visit nearby. Set at but a stonesthrow away
Climb your way up to the top levels of the Drum Tower to enjoy the view over what is left of the
south west of the Drum Tower, a very popular zone surrounding the North Lake (Houhai) which is also known as the Shichahai Bar Area.
All of this however is explained in the Report on the Xicheng District, section Shichahai - Houhai.
Keeping with the Drum Tower (Gulou) and the next important structure the Bell Tower (Zhong Lou), which stands on the opposite side of a long elongated court set in between, these used to be among the more visible and popular monuments of the Old City. During the last 3 feudal dynasties, the two towers functioned as the time keepers (i.e. public clocks) of the city. Little or nothing changed in the area until at least as late as the 1990's. Today, much has changed in the area and the hutong district which used to surround both the towers since their construction have been partially demolished to make way for the
widening of roads and other development. Through various other mechanisms locals have been driven out and at least the zone to the west of the Drum Tower along Jiugou Lu have been transformed into a popular outing spot counting numerous small restaurants and a few bars. Of late, in early 2013 another strip of supposedly protected Hutong of the Gulou District were destroyed to make way for such rediculous development as a parking garage.
surrounding hutong homes and alleys and stare southward along Dianmen Inner Street to see the top pavilion on Jingshan in the very distance. Although the interiors of the tower can be grandiose, they are just as easily easily found boring. The views from atop the platforms surrounding the tower are however never dull.
So this is also the case at the opposite side to the central court at the Bell Tower (Zong Lou) of ancient Beijing. Designed not as a wooden structure but fully in stone so as to be able to bare the weight of its humongous bronze bell, the bell tower reaches higher and as such
arguably has even more spectacular views. At any rate, the supersized bronze Bell that the tower is famous for is certainly worth hiking up the tower for. It was cast in the early 15th century as a part of the construction of the Ming Era City and is also known as the Yongle Bell, the largest ever bell cast in China.
Hanging on an eight-square wooden frame of the second floor the bell hanging inside the second floor the Bell of the Beijing Bell Tower is the largest and heaviest in all of China. It is 7.02 meters (23 feet) high including the pendants, with a weight of 63 tons (138,891 pounds). Made of copper, not bronze, its round and clear
Although no longer surrounded by city walls, the Dongcheng District is still limited by the space formerly taken up by the walls in the north and in the east.  This space, having become the 2nd ring road of Beijing, marks the border in the east with Chaoyang District (marked in yellow), as well as the southern border with the Chongwen District (marked in grey).
On the other flank, the western border of the district is formed by what was in the Ming Dynasty Era considered to be the magical central line of the city, a line which led through the central south gate to the throne seat of the Emperor inside his "Forbidden City"Palace, and from there on invisibly connected northward through the Bell- and Drum Towers.
As shown on adjacent Map, the Forbidden City a.k.a. the Palace Museum stands in the south west of the Dongcheng District as part of the central line. The Drum Tower and adjacent Bell Tower stand in the north west of Dongcheng District on the same line. The central line then, divides the core of the city into two halves, east and west. The Dongcheng District is historically speaking the eastern half of the Imperial city whereas the district on the other side of the dividing line in the west is XiCheng District; Xi meaning west, Dong meaning east.

The DongCheng District is one of the old and central Districts of the Ancient Imperial Capital of Beijing. With its history going back well over a 1000 years, lying in close proximity of the Palace of the Imperial Family and currently a part of the modern day Capital of the Peoples Republic of China it is a historic district that is dotted with museums, monuments, landmarks, and various other places of interest. The massive economic boom that the Nation has seen has also left its considerable imprint on the Dongcheng District with several modernd landmarks now visible on the skyline.
Although no doubt we have had to leave ot a few, most well known and most visited landmarks, monuments, hotspots and sites of interest within the district can be found described here. For your convenience find them briefly described on the 6 Menu Pages of the Chapter dealing the Dongcheng District from where one can follow links to more
Overview Map of Dongcheng District within the old central city, clearly marking its borders. With the Dongcheng District marked in pink, the Palace Museum can be seen sitting on the central line which forms the west border of the district. On the south, east and north side most of the Dongcheng District is limited by the second ring road which was built in the space previously occupied by the City Wall and its surrounding moat. Underneath the 2nd ring road lies the tunnel that carries the 2nd blue circular line of the subway and as can be seen, its path is still marked by the names of the former gates of the old city wall such as Chongwenmen, Jianguomen and ChaoyangMen. Only in the north east corner the Dongcheng District extends some ways beyond the second ring road, these are however areas with few landmarks of interest.
pages holding additional photo's, video's, maps and information.

A Background Page deals with the Dongcheng District and its historical Landmarks and Monuments from a historical perspective.
(1) History of the Dongcheng District

The complete listing of Landmarks and Monuments of Dongcheng District is too long to be listed and described on one page, hence the list is subdivided by sections which correspond to popular area's of interest or zones of exploration. The 6 zones of the Dongcheng District are:

Dongcheng District in Sections:
(1) Central Axis of the Old City and Western Border of Dongcheng
    See Below. Dealing with most popular sights to catch along the western border of the
     Dongcheng District.
(2) North Central Section
    Which deals with the cluster of monumental complexes in the area of the Lama Temple,
     Confucius Temple and Imperial College.
(3) North East Corner
    Exploring Tongjiao Temple, the Old Russian Embassy and some other more off the beaten path
     historic sites to visit hidden in the north east of Dongcheng.
4) Eastern Dongcheng District
   Reviewing some of the less visited sites in the East as well as one of the latest modern
    architectural gems of the city, Galaxy Soho building.
(5) South Central and South East Corner
    Along the south border of Dongcheng one can find the all important Beijing Railway Station, as
     well as the so called Ming Dynasty City Wall relics park (which technically is part of Chongwen
     District). Several historic city wall relics and museums can be found in the area.
(6) Scattered Monuments & Landmarks of Dongcheng.
    The latter discussing the scattered remainder of historic landmarks and other places of interest
    not covered in the other five sections or any of their hiking routes.
The ever popular Beijing Night Market, just off the north end of Wanfujing Streets pedestrian shopping zone makes for a fun experience as well as good photos.
Reminding us of an ancient era in Chinese History in which time for a whole city could be kept by a few drums and bells, the Drum Tower today is not so much a spectacularly adorned place but a location to come and overview the city while dwelling on the lost splendors of the past. With plenty of entertainment available in nearby Shichahai the largest Drum Tower ever built in China remains a popular stop off.
Climb the tower to view and appreciate the old time piece that kept order and regularity for all inhabitants of the Imperial Capital for centuries, not by coincidence the largest ever bronze beel cast in China. A must see masterpiece and a tower with a spectacular view.
sound was  intended to be loud enough to be heard far away in the corners of the city. In modern times it is a most popular item when it is run to sound in the New Year (according to the Lunar calendar).
Imperial Library Vault
Palace Museum
Jingshan Park
Legations Qrtr
rebels - now often known as "Boxers"- and sympathethic Qing Dynasty Forces active in the city of Beijing. Essentially, the Foreigners found themselves trapped inside an ever smaller circle, while Chinese were making serious attempts to drive them out. Only the superior fire-power of the garrisons on the Embassies within the zone, combined with a cautious attitude on the side of Qing Dynasty Forces prevented the Foreign Legations Quarter from being overrun before relief force reached the city. When they did, the brought destruction, looting, pillage and eventually even a fire-storm upon the city.

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