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Ancient Observatory

Ancient Observatory Travel Guide

Mounted on the battlements of a watchtower, Beijing’s ancient observatory forlornly overlooks the shuddering flyovers of the Second Ring Rd. Initially built circa 1442, the observatory is one of the most historically interesting observatories in the world. During the Ming Dynasty it was known as the 'Platform of Star-Watching', but its name was later changed to 'Observatory' during the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911).

The observatory covers an area of 1,000 square meters, and is divided into two parts, the platform and the affiliated building. Navigational equipment used by Chinese ships is displayed downstairs, and on the roof is an array of Jesuit-designed astronomical instruments. The Jesuits, scholars as well as proselytizers, came to town in 1601 when Matteo Ricci and his associates were permitted to work with Chinese scientists. Outdoing the resident Muslim calendar-setters, they were given control of the observatory, becoming the Chinese court’s official advisers.
Of the eight bronze instruments on display, six were designed and constructed under the supervision of the Belgian priest Ferdinand Verbiest, who came to China in 1659 as a special employee of the Qing court.
During the Boxer Rebellion, the instruments disappeared into the hands of the French and Germans. Some were returned in 1902 and others were returned after WWI, under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles (1919).

If you are an amateur astronomer or a fan of stargazing, you will love this place and maybe catch a glimpse of a meteor or your constellation.


Take bus no. 805 Express, 434, 957, 668, 9, 829, 640, 827, 637, 674, 638, 29, 25, 39, 938 Express to reach there.

DCT Tips:

Closed on Monday
Tickets is stop selling after 16:30

Ancient Observatory in Beijing
The gate of Ancient Observatory

Ancient Observatory in Beijing

The gate of Ancient Observatory

Ancient Observatory in Beijing

Equipment at ancient observatory

Ancient Observatory in Beijing

The platform of ancient observatory

Ancient Observatory in Beijing

Ancient Observatory picture 3

Ancient Observatory in Beijing

the equipment at ancient observatory

Ancient Observatory in Beijing

the picture of ancient observatory

Ancient Observatory in Beijing

Night View of ancient observatory

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