Archiv für Dezember 2009

Ming City Wall

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This is the old city wall from the Ming Dynasty. No more or better pics cause my batteries died but this goes on for 2 km. This is the view from the Tower on the corner which was taken over by Russian and American troops during the Boxer Rebellion 1900. All the other parts of the wall were destroyed, as most of the gates, to make way for the new roads. A huge loss…

Old Observatory

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The old observatory was used by the Jesuit missionaries advising the emperor on decisions regarding war. They built those large instruments on the roof to further research in astronomy in the 15th century. The following pics show some but I don‘t know for what measuring technique they were exactly used for. Some for measuring angles between stars, some for recording the movements of planets. During the Boxer Rebellion all the instruments were stolen by French and German troops. For some of the instruments it took more than 20 years to be returned, after WW1.

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To understand the purpose for all the instruments I should have paid more attention in school, I guess…

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So here is just a small selection with decorative elements. The western scientific methods of the Jesuits meeting the eastern dragon mythology.

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Ritan Park

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This is a nice small park with an altar to sacrifice to the sun god, depicted on this wall. The altar itself is just a square platform surrounded by a circle shaped wall, presenting the opposite geometry as the Heaven’s altar in Tiantan Park. The kids climbing on top of the altar really enjoy hearing their voice reflected by the echoing wall.

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If there is a pagoda, there is a way. Never a direct one but there is. This is the view on the skyline around the park.

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The Russians have their share of companies around here, this being one of the embassy areas of Beijing.

798 Dashanzi Art District

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This is an ex-industrial area where you can visit tons of galleries for free. The paradise for modern art fans. I spent half a day and saw more art than in my entire life before. A Korean gallery had a fun installation with an interactive electronic skyscraper where you could check in the apartments and discover what Koreans do in their homes.

Dong Yue Temple

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The Gate for this taoist temple stands outside on the other side of the road. It’s just decorative, the temple gates themselves are thick and small.

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This guy is one of the generals announced by god Dong Yue. It is said he can fight his enemies just by snorting.

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This general was said to have the power of frightening his opponents with his yellow breath. Yeah, sure…

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The temple is full of stylish tablets with inscriptions carved into.

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Over 100 of them standing around.

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The most important ones enshrined in these kind of towers.

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The old trees in the temple are praised as well. The red stuff on their fences are cards with wishes from visitors or sometimes telephone numbers from expats :D

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I‘ve been to several taoist temples but I still can not figure it out. Do they really believe demons give a shit about dos and don‘ts? I mean…seriously…