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Ancient Observatory (Guguanxiangtai)

#137 of 1,600 things to do in Beijing
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Address: No.2 Dongbiaobei Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100005, China
Name/address in local language
Phone Number: +86 10 6524 2202
Website
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description:

Eight huge astronomical instruments are displayed on an elevated platform...

Eight huge astronomical instruments are displayed on an elevated platform at this observatory, which was used during the Ming and Qing dynasties, and is one of the oldest observatories in the world.

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From ancient observatory, which covers an area of 10,000 m², has survived only its astronomical playground, which is located on a stone platform height of 15 m and represents a... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Vladimir M
,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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53 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 30: English reviews
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
331 reviews
107 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

From ancient observatory, which covers an area of 10,000 m², has survived only its astronomical playground, which is located on a stone platform height of 15 m and represents a square of 40 by 40 m. This stone platform is a preserved part of the fortress wall time of the Ming Dynasty, which then surrounded the city. On the platform... More 

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Thank Vladimir M
Ireland
Level Contributor
771 reviews
594 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 609 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Located in the lee of the robust archaic city wall, close to where we were staying, we saw the solid ancient structure most every day. It was fascinating to visit it. Completed in the 1440s it served a key purpose in monitoring the heavens for the Emperor who was the Heavenly representative on earth. Important nautical control of the seas... More 

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1 Thank permia
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
47 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2016

The Ancient Observatory in Beijing is more if you are looking for a place to go because you have time to fill, or if you are interested/studying the subject. My husband is very interested and so we went and he had a blast. They have some of the earliest astronomy instruments on display and almost all the exhibits are quoted... More 

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Thank HWCrew
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2016 via mobile

I visited here as we were walking past on our way to the hotel - though interesting I don't think that I would have gone out of my way to visit, as there really isn't enough there to warrant more than a fifteen minute visit. I did notice there were tours available though, so I imagine if there was some... More 

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Thank applefishuk
Minnesota
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2016

Nice stop for science-minded folks passing through the area or simply looking for a unique place to visit if one has plenty of time in Beijing. When we visited yesterday there were three somewhat interesting small indoor exhibition halls open for a visit, each staffed with a young, clearly bored attendant who barely even looked up much less budge from... More 

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Thank Vespid23
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2016

The ancient observatory has a display of large astronomical instruments both on the grounds and on the roof of the observatory from which you can get a view of this part of modern Beijing. There is little in the way (at least in English) of explanation of how the instruments were used or the history of the observatory. There are... More 

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Thank KSfamily00
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
1,242 reviews
886 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 639 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2016

We were bored and I have been living in Beijing for 4 years already and had never seen one of the world’s most ancient observatories so we went. It is rather small and there are no crowds so you can go and actually read all of the exhibits and take some photos of the ancient artifacts. It’s not super exciting... More 

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Thank Daniel A
Lowick, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2016

I walked to the Ancient Observatory from my nearby hotel and purchased entry ticket for 20 Yuan. Consists of observation tower with a variety of old astronomical equipment, a garden with more instruments and exhibitions in a couple of buildings around a court yard. There are English sections on all interpretation panels, and while I found them insufficient to understand... More 

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Thank Rabby1
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
103 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2016

It's directly accessible from exit C of the Jianguomen metro station on line 1 or 2. The observatory houses the old astronomical equipment. The information sign is sparse on details. On clear days, this is a nice viewing area. There are 3 exhibition halls on the ground level have details on ancient time keeping instruments and constellation recordings. Only an... More 

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1 Thank Paulo D
Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2015

This tower used to be part of of the old city wall, and the corner tower can be walked to from the observatory. The observatory has a number of buildings with interesting bits and bobs. The views from the tower are nice.

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1 Thank YorkHiker

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