Beijing Ancient Observatory
Dating from 1442, the Beijing Ancient Observatory is one of the oldest in the world. The centrepiece of the observatory is a 17 meter tall, brick building with astronomical instruments displayed on top. The instruments themselves, including an armillary sphere, quadrant and celestial globe, largely date from the 17th Century and were constructed with the help of Jesuit missionaries. The Jesuits were given control of the observatory by the Qing Court at the start of the 17th Century in recognition of their astronomical knowledge. The instruments were looted by the French and Germans during the Boxer Rebellion, but most were returned after World War One. On the grounds of the monastery is a small museum which outlines the history of astronomy in China and also the history of the Beijing Ancient Observatory itself. An interesting place to visit if you have time.
Admission: ¥10. Open: Wed-Sun: 9:00-11:30; 13:00-16:00.
Directions: The Ancient Observatory is on the south-west corner of the Jianguomen intersection, right by Jianguomen subway station.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去古观象台，谢谢。地址：建国门。 (Please take me to the Ancient Observatory. Thank you.)