Although it is only the second biggest city in China, Beijing is the seat of Chinese power and the home to many of the country’s greatest historical and cultural treasures. The city is also something of a transport hub and acts as a gateway to the rest of China. The Chinese capital welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, most of who come to see iconic landmarks such as Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, although there are quite a few less famous landmarks that are also worth visiting.
The Beijing Imperial Academy, called the Beijing Guozijian by the locals, was opened in 1306 to serve as the administrative headquarters of education and higher learning during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. It can be found nestled between two highly popular city landmarks – the Yonghe Lamasery and the Temple of Confucius. Many of the buildings associated with the Guozijian were built during the Ming Dynasty. The main focus at the site was classic Confucian texts and emperors used to come to the academy to read out passages to inspire students.
The academy is an important part of China’s heritage and is definitely worth a visit. The best time to visit is between April and October. One has to purchase a ticket to get in but the ticket also includes admission into the Temple of Confucius. The Beijing Imperial Academy is open from 8.30 am to 5 pm and is accessible by bus and subway. Those coming by bus have to get off at the Guozijian Station while those coming by subway can get off at the Yonghegong Station and take a short walk.
Despite its well-planned streets and geometrically uniform arrangement, the city can be difficult to navigate, especially for first time visitors. Finding accommodation with a central location can greatly ease the hassles of travel. Tourists who expect excellent facilities, top notch service and tastefully decorated hotel rooms in Beijing can try Langham Place Beijing Capital Airport. The Beijing airport hotel is a convenient place to stay and is only a short forty minute drive to some of the city’s most beloved attractions.