Di'anmen plan back on table to boost status bid

Updated: 2011-03-08 11:00

(China Daily)

Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

Culture chiefs are weighing up plans to rebuild Di'anmen - the only historic gate missing from the iconic "central axis" - ahead of the capital's application for world heritage status.

The relic, which used to lie north of the line in Xicheng district, was built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was demolished in the mid-1950s to make way for a road project, with the area now more famous for the Drum Tower and Shichahai.

"It was only a one-story building, which is unlike the other eight gates, such as Qianmen or Yongdingmen. It made up part of the city walls," Zhao Shu, a researcher at the Beijing Research Institute of Culture and History, told METRO.

It is not the first time the idea of rebuilding Di'anmen has been put on the table. Previous proposals were all shelved due to concerns that rebuilding the gate at its original location may disrupt traffic flow.

"Experts say the site should be moved slightly southward from the original spot," which is now a road intersection, Kong Fanzhi, director of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Heritage said on Sunday.

Beijing is speeding up its preparations in applying for World Cultural Heritage status and is scheduled to set up a coordination and consultant team soon. The application will be made in the next five years.

The "central axis", which runs north to south directly through the heart of the capital, extends 7.8 kilometers from Yongdingmen to what was Di'anmen. Other gates that lay on the line include Zhengyangmen, Tian'anmen, Duanmen and Qianqingmen.

Often referred to a "dragon vein", a number of important royal buildings were built along the axis, such as the world-famous Forbidden City.

"The axis is very unique," said Zhao. "Protecting the central line is to preserve the uniqueness of the city."

The capital is continuing its investment into the protection of its heritages, with about 150 million yuan to be spent each year for the next five years. 


Green light

F1 sponsors expect lucrative returns from Shanghai pit stop

Buying into the romance
Born to fly
Light of hope

European Edition


Share your China stories!

Foreign readers are invited to share your China stories.

No more Mr. Bad Guy

Italian actor plans to smash ‘foreign devil’ myth and become the first white kungfu star made in China.

Art auctions

China accounted for 33% of global fine art sales.

Beloved polar bear died
Panic buying of salt
'Super moon'