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Imperial City Wall to Show Up in Beijing
Latest Updated by 2006-07-10 10:44:50
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Miniature of old Beijing.   Photo Source: cnsphoto

Renovation of the Imperial City wall located in Di'anmen in the Xicheng district in Beijing will be completed soon, by then the wall will show up again after remaining falling into obscurity for nearly 70 years. Construction workers are currently giving the finishing touches to the wall.

The Di'anmen Avenue measures 550 meters in total length. The wall stretching from east to west on the street side was first built in 1420, the 18 reign year of the Yongle Emperor in the Ming Dynasty. Since then, it had been renovated several times. The present wall existing today was built in the Qing Dynasty. It is a heritage site under protection by the Beijing municipal government.

The Di'anmennei Avenue used to be the main street in the old Imperial City. It was also the axis line in the northern part of the old Beijing city. In the Ming Dynasty, lots of imperial material supply managing organs were built on both sides of the street, and most of the people living there worked for the imperial household. In the early Qing Dynasty, most of these organs were no longer in use. So the royal servants became craftsmen. These people and their descendants later built numerous houses and shops in the neighborhood, changing the street out of recognition. In the Republic of China period, the wall was gradually submerged in buildings and vanished from people's sight.

At present, the section of the wall relic in the eastern part of the Di'anmen Avenue measures 240.2 meters and the one in the western part measures 122.4 meters. Since the wall hadn't been repaired for a long time, most part was seriously damaged. The wall was cracked and eroded, and the surface of the wall was peeling from the body. In several places, the wall had nearly collapsed. There were even trees growing through the wall. The yellow glazed tiles and decorative mythical animals on the top of the wall were no more.

In order to restore it, the Xicheng district authority invested 250 million yuan last year to tear down the shops and relocate the residents.

Editor: Wing

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