Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Beijing Ancient Observatory

Above: Dragons! Found these dragons in Beijing Ancient Observatory. Photo gallery below.


Beijing Ancient Observatory
PICTORIAL - STARS AND DREAMS UNDER THE RED SUN

Beijing Ancient Observatory is located at the main avenue and East Ring-2. It was built in 1442 during the Ming Dynasty with the purpose to explore and observe the heavens. Observation deck has eight large bronze instruments, by Qing Dynasty.

This Observatory proves that already long ago Chinese people were curious and had the will and courage to peek into the unknown.

Picture:
Beijing Ancient Observatory

Equatorial Armilla. Made in 1673 (Qing Dynasty) and designed primarily for measuring true solar time as well as right ascension difference and declination of celestial bodies.




Picture:
Beijing Ancient Observatory

The Square Table. Designed by Guo Shoujing, a Chinese astronomer of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), for the purpose of determining azimuth of celestial bodies by the equal altitude method and can also be used as protractor.


Observatory is the right place if interested about the sun, the moon, planets, stars, humans, dragons, rabbits and China.


BeijingMan aka Kippo

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Below pictures were taken at Beijing Ancient Observatory, located in the corner of Beijing main avenue and East Ring-2. Click to enlarge.

Above-1: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Seen from JianGuoMen Bridge.

Above-2: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
A small shop house on top. Behind this Observatory are the exhibition rooms and the yard, left side is a small park. Inside this main structure, on the street level, was another shop.

Above-3: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Ticket Sales Office. Ticket price 10RMB (=1EUR or 1,3USD), service was friendly. Entrance is officially "Free for children shorter than 100cm and for deformed man."

Above-4: Gate into Beijing Ancient Observatory.

Above-5: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Check Ticket Office. No queues, I saw two other visitors during my two hours scouting.

Above-6: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Choice of entrance.

Above-7: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Small sign on the right: "China's Ancient Astronomical Achievements Exhibition".

Above-8: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Three exhibition halls: left, front, right.

Above-9: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Official explanation for playful dragons holding the instrument: "The Armillary Sphere. Made in the 4th year during the reign of Zhengtong (1439) of the Ming Dynasty and designed for the coordination of celestial bodies. Originally kept in Beijing, it was moved to the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing in 1931."

Above-10: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
In front of the main exhibition hall: "Simplified Armilla. Made in 1439 (Zhengtong reign of Ming Dynasty) and designed for the same purpose as Armillary Sphere, for the coordination of celestial bodies. It has more simply structure and operation. It was moved to the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing in 1933."

Above-11: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
The main exhibition hall.

Above-12: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Inside the main exhibition hall.

Above-13: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Inside the main exhibition hall.

Above-14: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Inside the main exhibition hall.

Above-15: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Inside the main exhibition hall.

Above-16: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Another exhibition hall.

Above-17: Beijing Ancient Observatory.

Above-18: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
To the washroom.

Above-19: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Found this behind one exhibition hall, a taikonaut element with small observation window...

Above-20: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Observation deck up there, 14 meters above the street level.

Above-21: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
The writings on the wall.

Above-22: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Upper: "Please go upstairs to see the instruments"
Lower: "Observation terrace from here up and down"

Above-23: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
I turned and here the steps up.

Above-24: Beijing Ancient Observatory.

Above-25: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Rewarding view from the top towards 38 kilometers main avenue.

Above-26: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
The Observation deck has eight bronze instruments.

Above-27: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Left: "The Quadrant. Made in 1673 (Qing Dynasty) and designed for measuring altitudes or zenith distances of celestial bodies."
Right: "The New Armilla. Made in 1744 (Qing Dynasty) and designed primarily for measuring true solar time as well as ascension difference and declination of celestial bodies."

Above-28: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
"The Azimuth Theobolite. Made in 1715 (Qing Dynasty) and designed primarily for measuring azimuths and altitudes of celestial bodies."

Above-29: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Shop house on the observation platform.

Above-30: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
Inside the shop house service was friendly.

Above-31: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
View towards East, far away is Beijing WTC. The tower with red on top is CITIC Tower, the earliest foreign trade building in Beijing and China. Left, JianGuomenWai Diplomatic Residence block.

Above-32: Beijing Ancient Observatory.
View towards South, blue building is Gloria Plaza Hotel which was put down in 2010. Right side of it is Beijing parliament building. Further back starts South Beijing.

I stayed at Gloria Plaze Hotel when visiting Beijing first time, Christmas 1992. From hotel's gym I noticed this place. In 1992 slaughtered pigs were transported on bicycles to shops and restaurants. I biked one week around Beijing, without a pig, and the weather was cold (Gloria Plaza Hotel was put down in 2011).

Above-33: Beijing Ancient Observatory.

Above-34: Beijing Ancient Observatory.

Above-35: Beijing Ancient Observatory.


Beijing Ancient Observatory
+ Not only for astrologs to enjoy this place
+ Easy to find at the main avenue/Ring-2 corner
+ Refreshing experience
**** OK PHOTO TARGET FOR A FEW HOURS VISIT ****


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© BeijingMan aka Kippo 2014

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