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Visiting Historic Beijing

Visiting Historic Beijing

A Guide to Sites & Resources

By (author) Robert L. Thorp


Full Description

In this follow-up to Visiting China’s Past, Professor Robert Thorp offers a guided tour of historic Beijing. Beginning with early cities that preceded the modern capital, the author introduces Dadu, established by Khubilai Khan in 1267 and known to Marco Polo as Cambaluc. This guide’s focus, however, is the great architectural monuments of the Ming and Qing dynasties (ca. 1421-1912). Altogether, thirty-two sites are explored in detail: the city’s walls and gates; the imperial city and palaces (the Forbidden City); state altars and imperial tombs; Buddhist and Daoist temples as well as mosques; and residences (both princely mansions and courtyard houses) and gardens. A final chapter summarizes developments of the early twentieth century. Each chapter discusses the history and cultural context of these sites, while entries describe the main structures complemented by numerous plans, photographs, and diagrams. Although both chapters and entries “stand alone,” extensive cross-referencing encourages readers to find related information, and each chapter concludes with suggested titles for further reading. A list of suggested walking tours and an extensive bibliography (both English and Chinese) complete the text. Visiting Historic Beijing is an excellent guide for anyone planning to visit Beijing, and a fascinating introduction to Chinese culture through the architecture and urban planning of one of the world’s most magnificent capitals.

Floating World Editions
3rd Apr 2008
Paperback / softback
USA & Canada
6.03 in x 9.07 in
240 Pages
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