Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beijing, part 9: Old Fortifications

s5 - The Giant Boxer Shorts
Okay, so that's not really "old fortifications." On the way to the Ming-era city walls, we stopped to see the new CCTV (China Central Television) building. The locals call it the Giant Boxer Shorts. Construction is still ongoing, so the bottom was blocked by a huge billboard fence all up and down the streets.

We walked a bit, then got back on the subway 1 line for a couple stops and headed south.

s7 - Ancient Observatory Tower
This looked like it could be the old city walls, so we stopped here. Actually, it's the Ancient Observatory. It looked like an old city wall!

We decided to pay the small fee and look around, anyway.

s9 - Dragon at the Ancient Observatory

s10 - Flag over the Observatory

s13 - Rabbit Water Clock
This was a water clock. I had to take a photo because it has a rabbit, and Chunlin was born in the year of the rabbit, so...

After a breather in the observatory's courtyard, we continued walking south and arrived at the much more magnificent Southeast Watchtower.
s17 - Southeast Corner Watchtower

Below the tower and along the remnants of the south wall stretches a very green park. We sat in the shade with the retirees and toddlers. Nearby, a couple groups of college-age kids were doing group drills of some sort. Apart from the lawnmower, quiet and peaceful. Naptime.
s18 - Ming City Wall Tree

We passed through the Railroad Gate (a retrofit for an early-1900s rail line) and climbed up the wall.
s20 - Up the Wall
The stairs used to be a ramp, but it was later modified for the horses.

s27 - All along the Watchtower

Inside the tower is now an art museum. Stone walls, timber construction for the tile roof.
s22 - Inside

s26 - Art by the Wayside

s23 - Windows and Beams

We climbed up to the top and viewed the city in all directions through the small windows.

Impressive red timbers, but not the best view...

More photos at flickr, as I'm sure you expect.

No comments: