Friday, October 5, 2012

Dongjiaominxiang, Xidan and Tian'anmen Square

St Michael's church in Beijing on Dongjiaomenxiang

Margot noticed an article in the China Daily News about more quiet places in Beijing to visit during the National Day holidays. One area mentioned is Dongjiaominxiang. Turns out this is right near our apartment. This area was known as the Foreign Legation area prior to the 1950's and was home to many foreign embassies. The embassies have all moved but the area still has one of the larger concentrations of foreign architecture in Beijing.

We took a walk through part of the area in Wednesday.

This is a picture of St. Michael's Church.

The church was closed off behind this gate so it was tough to get a decent picture. I took the picture above by sticking the camera through the bars up over my head.

A moment after we turned around to go down the street this couple came out of the gate (apparently - I never saw the gate open). Looks like a photo shoot in the church.

Here is a plaque across the street from the church that gives more of the history.

Click to enlarge.

Subway station mural in Beijing

Actually, I'm not sure which day I took this picture. I'm pretty sure it is in the Jianguomen Line 2 station but don't quote me on that. There is actually very little art in the Beijing Subway stations - they are pretty utilitarian - this was a pleasant surprise.

Line 1 was originally built to also serve as a nuclear fallout shelter per the Russian model. That is pretty utilitarian.

This wall was actually on the street on the way to the church. Couple of thoughts. You can never tell how old something is in Beijing. A brick wall may be 100 years old or brand new. Seems like a lot of work to build a wall like this - someone has to make the brick, transport it, mortar it into place, several skim coats, add the tile look, etc. One thing about it - there is no shortage of labor in China.
Xidan Street pedestrian bridge in Beijing

We took the subway over to Xidan. I had heard that this is a major shopping area in Beijing. The place was packed. Seemed to be more Beijingers shopping - very few foreign tourists and a lot fewer Chinese tourists compared to Wangfujing. Margot did buy a Mahjong themed Rubik's cube.
Great Hall of the People in Beijing

We took the subway one stop east to Tian'anmen West. This dropped us off outside the Great Hall of the People. This is were the government holds their Party meetings and congresses. They also greet all the visiting foreign dignitaries there. This is the north entrance.

The Great Hall of the People is kitty corner from the Tian'anmen entrance to the Imperial City and directly across the street from Tian'anmen Square.
Tian'anmen Sqaure flower display for National Day 2012

This shot is looking east across Tian'anmen Square toward the National Museum from the Great Hall of the People.

Here we have crossed the street and are looking north. The security line was pretty short here.

This is one of the Megatron type display boards on the square.

It amazes me that they work so well in even bright sunlight. They are facing north.

This little girl was getting her picture taken. Chinese people are very patriotic. It is hard to judge but I'd say on par with Americans. Lots of little Chinese flags, face decals, etc.
Flower display for National Day 2012 in Tian'anmen Square

As promised a couple of days ago, here are a some better pictures of the flower displays.

This is about half of the group of people who lined up to pick up any litter on the square.

Another shot of the flowers.

These guys were getting into the picture taking.

The head decorations were pretty popular with the young girls.

Here are a few pictures from a couple of days earlier.

Tian'anmen Square

Sun Yat-sen portrait in Tian'anmen Square on National Day 2012

I'm pretty sure this is Sun Yat-sen. He was a leading figure in the revolution that over threw the Imperial government. He was a founder of the Kuomintang party and one of the few politicians widely respected on both sides of the Taiwan Straits.

Learn more here --> Sun Yat-sen

Big crowd yesterday.

Here are some pictures from this spring with a much smaller crowd.

Tian'anmen Square March 2012

Here  we have crossed the street and are in front of the National Museum.

I thought the light is the trees was nice.

Not sure what is going on here. Shift change I imagine. Let me know if you can find any hint of a smile on this group.

Sort of a weird picture to include but this woman had a series of bruises or marks across her shoulders and neck from the Chinese medicine cupping treatment.

When I was looking up a wikipedia entry I learned that this treatment is actually Arabic in origin.

Cupping Therapy

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