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05/12/2013

Name Change of Beijing as the Capital of 6 Dynasties

King Wu first declared what is now Beijing affordable China tours the capital of China in 1057 B.C. The city has gone by the names of Ji, Zhongdu, Dadu, and finally Beijing when Ming Dynasty Emperor Cheng Zu selected the name in 1421. Before 1949, Beijing was known in the West as Peking.

Ji 蓟

During the Warring States Period (475221BC), the Marquis of Yan annexed the territory of the Marquis of Ji, making the city of Ji his new capital. The approximate location was north of Guang’ anmen Gate in presentday Beijing near the White Cloud Temple (Baiyunguan).

Yanjing 燕京

At the beginning of the Tang Dynasty(618-907), Ji was little different from any other large feudal cities. Several centuries later, however, when the Tang was nearing a state of collapse, the Qidans (Khitans) came from the upper reaches of the Liaohe River and moved south to occupy Ji and make it their second capital. They called the city Nanjing (Southern Capital) or Yanjing.Emperor Taizong of the Liao Dynasty (916-1125) carried out reconstruction projects and built palaces, which were used as strongholds from which the Qidans set out to conquer the central plains of China.

Zhongdu 中都

In the early 12th century, the Nuzhen (Jurchen) conquered the Liao and established the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234). In 1153, Wan Yanliang moved the Jin capital from Huiningfu in present day Liaoning Province popular China tour package to Yanjing and renamed it Zhongdu (Central Capital) as a challenge to the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), which had its capital at Lin’an (presentday Hangzhou).

Dadu 大都

Mongol armies occupied Zhongdu in 1215.Yanjing was given provincial status. It was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan formally adopted the new dynasty’s name — Yuan — and made Yanjing the capital. Kublai Khan rebuilt the city and gave it the Chinese (Han) name of Dadu (Ta-tu) or Great Capital, though in Mongol it was known as Khanbalig (Marco Polo’s Cambaluc), the City of the Great Khan. When the Mongols finally eliminated the Southern Song and unified China, Dadu became the political center of the country for the first time in history.

Beijing 北京

On August 2, 1368, Ming troops seized Dadu and renamed it Beiping (Northern Peace). Beginning in 1406, Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty spent 15 years constructing walls 12 meters high and 10 meters thick at their base around the city of Beiping. The construction of palace buildings and gardens began in 1417 and was completed in 1420. The following year, Emperor Yongle formally transferred the capital from Nanjing top China tours to Beiping and, for the first time, named the city Beijing (Northern Capital).

Beijing

When the Manchus founded the Qing Dynasty in 1644, they made beijing the capital of the dynasty and began to build suburban gardens, the most famous of which was Yuanmingyuan. Construction over the course of an entire century, the imposing columned palaces and open-air pavilions blended with the serenity of well planned gardens to create a masterpiece of garden architecture unrivaled in the history of China.

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