The Central Axis is Beijing’s most unique line.

It is more than seven kilometers long and runs through the city’s north and south. Many great monumental sites stand in the center. There is no other country that has such a magnificent and noble wooden structure connecting palaces, city gates, and pavilions, with glazed tile roofs and red lacquer painted gold. The Forbidden City and the hundreds of palaces within it are world-class architectural masterpieces.

The Central Axis of Beijing City has been around for more than 700 years. It looks like the vertebrae of the old capital, symmetrically aligned with the central axis at its center. As Liang Sicheng said, the central axis is great, but its greatness lies not only in its long history and magnificent architecture but also in the countless possibilities it provides for the people of this city.


When most people talk about the Central Axis, they may first come up with the magnificent architectural complex. However, it is not only a distant history that gives people a sense of sacredness, but it also contains many interesting points. And this part will focus on some detailed and interesting knowledge of particular cases in the Central Axis of Beijing:

The roof of the ancient Chinese building


Ancient Chinese architecture is a fascinating creation. It is complex that it looks familiar and yet seems unfamiliar at the same time. But in fact, from the famous Forbidden City to the ordinary pavilion, it is basically made up of three parts: the base, the main building, and the roof. […]

The rooftop zoo in the Forbidden City

Even without stepping into well-known palaces in Beijing, it is easy to feel the atmosphere of the ancient capital. The old buildings here almost have sacred animals perched on their eaves. It may confuse you: Who are these animals? Why are they climbing onto the roof?[…]


The ancient pursuit of balance and harmony is embedded in the Chinese cultural genes. The Central Axis maintains the intellection and aesthetics of Chinese life. Therefore, this part focuses on introducing the cultural attributes and philosophical significance behind it:

The cultural attributes behind the city: Why are important architectures all on the same Axis?

Beijing City’s Central Axis, like the ancient capital’s backbone, has lasted more than 700 years. However, from the perspective of ancient Chinese capitals’ development history, managing the entire city with the central axis has become the basic norm and characteristic of ancient Chinese capitals. Beijing’s Central Axis is the culmination of the central axes of China’s historic capitals. […]

The cultural attributes behind the city: Altars and Temples

Aside from the notable architectures on the Central Axis, the symmetrically arranged altars and temples on both sides also have a rich historical culture. […]