Beijing is one of the four ancient cities of China (together with Xian, Luoyang, Nanjing), the best preserved, and famous around the world. Beijing is also known as a cradle of humanity. As early as 700,000 years ago, Peking Man lived in Zhoukoudian area of Beijing.
Beijing City was established over 3,000 years ago and was called Jin City in the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC - 771 BC). Ever since Emperor Qin united China in 221 BC, Beijing has played an important role in north China. It was the capital city in the Liao (916-1125), Jin (1115-1234), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. During these 800 years, 34 emperors lived and ruled here. The world renowned Forbidden City was built during this period. At the end of the Qing Dynasty, World War I broke out. Beijing became the focus of invaders. The war disrupted the society. Many residences of royal families were robbed and burned down. After that, the whole country was reduced to the status of semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. It wasn't until October 1st, 1949 that the People's Republic of China was founded. Beijing is known as the capital city of the prosperous new country which has flared into importance in Asia.
Beijing Roast Duck
It is said that there are two things that you must do when visiting Beijing: One is to enjoy the roast duck and the other is to take a stroll on the Great Wall. There is simply quite nothing like a perfectly roasted duck with bronzed crispy skin and tender, succulent meat. There are literally dozens of restaurants that serve this famous dish, but perhaps the best known are Quanjude and Bianyifang.
Here is a snapshot of the major events in Beijing's history:
Time Used Name Event
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(Western Zhou) Jin City Pioneer city of China
(Qin Dynasty) Jin City Emperor Qin attacked Jin successfully
(Sui Dynasty) Zhuo Shire Population over 130,000
(Tang Dynasty) Youzhou Military center and business center
(Liao Dynasty) Nanjing As accompanying capital (now in Xicheng District)
(Jin Dynasty) Zhongdu Occupied by a minority group in northeast China
(Yuan Dynasty) Yanjing Occupied by Mongolia leader Genghis khan
(Yuan Dynasty) Dadu As capital city of a united country for the first time
(Ming Dynasty) Beiping Ming Dynasty established
(Ming Dynasty) Beijing Emperor Yongle changed the name to Beijing
(Ming Dynasty) Beijing Began to built Forbidden City
(Ming Dynasty) Beijing Move to new site (now in Beijing City center)
(Ming Dynasty) Beijing Central part of Beijing city now has formed
(Qing Dynasty) Beijing Qing Dynasty established
(Qing Dynasty) Beijing Yuanmingyuan was burnt down by invaders
(Qing Dynasty) Beijing Eight-nation Allied Forces occupied Beijing
(Qing Dynasty) Beijing Last emperor Puyi was forced to abdicate the crown
1937 Beijing War of Resistance against Japan broke out
1945 Beiping Civil war between two fictions broke out
1949 Beijing The People's Republic of China was founded
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