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Ancient Observatory (Guguanxiangtai), Beijing
(3.9/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web)
The Beijing Ancient Observatory is a pretelescopic observatory located in Beijing, China. The observatory was built in 1442 during the Ming dynasty, and expanded during the Qing. It received major reorganization and many new, more accurate instruments from Europeans (Jesuits) in 1644. As one of the oldest observatories in the world, the Beijing Ancient Observatory grounds cover an area of 10,000 square meters. The observatory itself is located on a 40 by 40 wide meter on a 15 meter tall brick tower, an extant portion of the old Ming dynasty era city wall that once encircled Beijing. Several of the bronze astronomical instruments are on the platform, and other armillary spheres, sundials, and other instruments are located nearby at ground level. It is operated as a museum in affiliation with the Beijing Planetarium.HistoryIt was said that in 1227, the Jin dynasty transferred the ancient astronomical instruments from Kaifeng to the first observatory in Beijing. In 1279, the succeeding Mongols under Kublai Khan built a new observatory just north of the current observatory. Kublai Khan made his chief adviser of hydraulics, mathematics and astronomy, Guo Shoujing, director of the observatory in 1283 after the death of Guo's friend and predecessor Zhang Wenqian. After the Mongols, Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding Ming Emperor, transferred the instruments from Beijing to Nanjing. When the Yongle Emperor came to power, he had craftsmen make copies of the instruments in Nanjing and sent them to the Beijing observatory.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Located in the lee of the robust archaic city wall, close to where we were staying, we saw the solid ancient structure most every day. It was fascinating to visit it. Completed in the 1440s it served ...  more »
  • The Ancient Observatory in Beijing is more if you are looking for a place to go because you have time to fill, or if you are interested/studying the subject. My husband is very interested and so we we...  more »
  • I visited here as we were walking past on our way to the hotel - though interesting I don't think that I would have gone out of my way to visit, as there really isn't enough there to warrant more than...  more »
Google
  • Very interesting. A good and cheap way to spend half an hour. Quiet place. 20 rmb per adult, 5 for kids
  • It's directly accessible from exit C of the Jianguomen metro station on line 1 or 2. The observatory houses the old astronomical equipment. The information sign is sparse on details. On clear days, this is a nice viewing area. There are 3 exhibition halls on the ground level have details on ancient time keeping instruments and constellation recordings. Only an hour is needed for the visit.
  • This is one of the oldest observatories in the world. It feels almost like it has been abandoned, since there is not much of a tourist attraction. The structures are beautiful, and well preserved. It was worth the price of admission.
  • 這是在一個角落裏兩個地鐵站所以倒斃於中心需要步行到達那裏。 這裏還有很多的臺階才能進到塔與大多數設備。 我沒有看到一個電梯。 在一樓有一個很大廳有技術裝備行程還
  • tourists are few. A small playground. in General, I wonder.
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