|Chinese name||['north' 'capital']|
The huge city of Beijing is large enough to be treated as a province in its own right. The name literally means 'Northern Capital' and distinguishes it from Nanjing 'Southern Capital'. The capital of the country has moved around from the first unification of the country at Xian. In terms of the length of Chinese history the founding of Beijing is a late event. Only at the start of the Ming dynasty in the early 1400s did the emperor take permanent residency here, at the northern edge of the vast country close to the Great Wall.
Over the ensuing years, Beijing has taken on the trappings of a great imperial city controlling the rest of China with its palaces, parks and museums. It has now become a major industrial centre too. Traces of the grid pattern of the original Ming City plan can still be seen in places. The climate is varied, cold in Winter and hot and humid in Summer. The city is infamous for dust storms that blow in from the nearby Gobi desert in late Spring.
See also : Sacred Path to the Ming Tombs
Forbidden City, Beijing
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