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Ancient Observatory

Beijing Ancient Observatory museum looks like a turreted tower set in Beijing's ancient city walls. It is situated on the southeast corner of Jianguomen Street. When it was originally built in the Yuan dynasty, it had a slightly different name but the same intent: to explore the heavens. More than five hundred years, through Ming and Qing dynasties and after the Xinhai Revolution (1911), this location has been used to observe phenomena of the skies. This is the longest historical record of using any such observatory for so long. At present, eight large bronze implements for viewing the heavens are arrayed on the top of the museum's tower; these date from the Qing dynasty. Under the tower is a hall built between the years 1442 and 1446, during the Ming dynasty. To the east and west are subsidiary rooms and other ancient structures.


Ancient Observatory Ancient Observatory

After September 18, 1931 when the Japanese militarists launched a large-scale invasion to North China Plain, Chinese scientists shipped some of the instruments to Nanjing in 1932 for the sake of the cultural relics. Today they are displayed at Purple Hills Observatory and Nanjing Museum respectively.

Nowadays, on the platform of the Ancient Beijing Observatory as the visitor climbs it form right to left are displayed an armilla, a quadrant, a celestial globe, an ecliptic armilla, an altazimuth, an azimuth theodolite, a sextant and an equatorial armilla.

The brick terraced observatory consists of a 17-metre high platfrom. The top of the platform is 23.9 metres from west to east and 20.4 metres form south to north.

Ancient Observatory Ancient Observatory


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