Beijing Ancient Observatory

Beijing Ancient Observatory, Beijing Attractions, Beijing Travel GuideBeijing Ancient Observatory is a special topic site museum of nature science displaying Chinese ancient astronomical equipment and astronomy. It consists of a ten-meter high brick Watching Star Platform and some buildings, which are under the platform. Eight magnificent and excellent equipments are made of bronze stand high and upright on the black brick platform. They are celestial body equipment, equator theodolite, ecliptic theodolite, horizon longitude equipment, quadrant equipment, Simple Phenomena equipment, horizon theodolite and Jihenfuchen equipment made in Qing Dynasty. The elaborate flying dragons, vivid colors are carved on the equipment body. Among which, part of them still has its function of actual observation. Under it are a cluster of buildings such as Ziwei Hall, Sundial Shadow Hall and other auxiliary structures. Since it served as the center for astronomical observation in the Ming and Qing dynasties it is also known as the Observatory of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. A stone-carved star map from Suzhou is exhibited here, as well as the ceiling astronomical map from Longfu Temple, two rare treasures.

If you walk through the door with the three characters for the observatory carved above it, you find a three-level exhibition space devoted to China's ancient astronomical accomplishments. The former was done in the Song dynasty in the year 1247. It depicts 1,434 stars and is recognized as one of the best early star maps in the world. The latter was accomplished in the Ming period, but from the characters carved on the side of the map one can see that the underlying information already existed in the Tang dynasty.

Beijing Ancient Observatory, Beijing Attractions, Beijing Travel GuideIt is the historical records of the longest successive observation period amongst the current existing ancient observatories in the world. Moreover, it also shares high reputation in the world die to its integrated building and completed equipment. In Kangxi and Qianlong periods in Qing Dynasty, the astronomical observatory added eight large-sized astronomical observatory equipment made of cooper one after another. They all adopt the European measurement and equipment construction. Those astronomical equipment have large body, and beautiful sculpt, excellent engraving. Except for the Chinese tradition characterized aspects like sculpt, flower decoration and craftwork, etc, the other aspects like graduation, cursors and construction and etc also reflects the process and achievement of large-size astronomical equipment after the period of renaissance of the Western Europe. It is the historical witness of oriental and western culture exchanges. They are not only the practical astronomy observation equipment but also the incomparable historic culture relic treasures.

Now, it has been reformed to Beijing Ancient Astronomical Equipment Exhibition Hall, which belongs to Beijing Astronomy Observatory and was official opened in 1956.