Attraction Details

  • China
  • Beijing Ancient Observatory

Beijing Ancient Observatory

Beijing Ancient Observatory
On the grounds of the Beijing Ancient Observatory with a bronze bust of the astronomer and mathematician Guo Shoujing in the foreground.
Coordinates view on map
Telescope style observatory
Commons page; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Beijing Gu Guanxiàngtái) is a pretelescopic observatory located in Beijing, China. The observatory was built in 1442 during the Ming dynasty, and expanded during the Qing. It received major reorganization and many new,more accurate instruments from Europeans (Jesuits) in 1644.

As one of the oldest observatories in the world, the Beijing Ancient Observatory grounds cover an area of 10,000 square meters. The observatory itself is located on a 40 by 40 wide meter on a 15 meter tall brick tower, an extant portion of the old Ming dynasty era city wall that once encircled Beijing. Several of the bronze astronomical instruments are on the platform, and other armillary spheres, sundials, and other instruments are located nearby at ground level. It is operated as a museum in affiliation with the Beijing Planetarium.

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