Dongbianmen / Directions / How to Get There
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Short Introduction to the Dongbianmen also Dongnan Jialou, aka the south east corner watchtower of the old city of Beijing
Located some 500 meters South of the Beijing Ancient Observatory (at JianguoMen) is another Historical Beijing Landmark. The South-East Corner Watchtower ( Dongnan Jiaolou') is another Part of the Old Cities' Ancient but now dismantled Walls.
The south east corner watchtower or Dongbianmen as it is most usually dubbed, is an original part of the Ming Dynasty Era City Walls which can be found just due south of the Beijing Main Railway Station (Beijing Zhan) in the Dongcheng District. The Tower and Wall themselves mark the border between the Dongcheng District in the north and the Chongwen District in the south.
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Inside The Watchtower
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DongBianMen - Red Gate & Park
- The Park Around Red Gate - Dongbian Men -
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This page was last updated: July 1, 2017
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Walk around on Red Gate
Walk around on Red Gate
Walk to ChongwenMen via Ming Dynasty Walls Park
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Walk around Red Gate and North towards the Ancient Observatory
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The south east corner watchtower of the city walls of Beijing is a typical Ming and Qing Dynasty Era fortification. This particular watchtower is the largest such preserved structure in China entire today. Thus it has great cultural, historical and scientific value and is a treasured national landmark.
In addition to the Dongbianmen or corner watchtower, there is the tower's battle platform to explore and admire. Although now increasingly dwarfed by nearby highrise towers, the Dongbianmen Tower Platform was one of the few heighpoints in the ancient city of Beijing, and as from the nearby "Ancient Ming Observatory Platform (Gu Guan Xiangtai)", from it one has a spectacular view of the surrounding area. To the north one overlooks the Beijing Railway Station and its massive railway emplacement and so the Dongbianmen Gate is one of the better points for train spotters to see trains coming into the station and leaving again. On the east side one looks down over the Tonghui River which at this point is the connection of the ancient Beijing
Great view of the archway created in the city walls around the year 1900 AD in order to allow for passing train traffic.
City Moat to the historic " Grand Canal" one of the human marvels achieved during the Sui, Tang and later the Ming Dynasty.
To the west one can view along the ruined walls and see the people dwell in Ming Dynasty Era City Wall Relics Park.

In 1982, some years into the "Deng Xiaoping Era" it was listed as a major historical landmark and put under state protection. Many years later, the nearby remains of the Ming Dynasty Era City Wall extending westward from the Dongbianmen were also put under state protection, cleaned up and turned into what is today the long and narrow "Ming Dynasty Era City Wall relics park".

As can be counted while viewing the exterior, the South East Corner watchtower has four floors, the bottom three floors of which are taken up by the world renowned Red Gate Modern Art Gallery.

The Red Gate Gallery was one of the first ever modern and contemporary art galleries to open in the city of Beijing and has seen a resounding success over the last 10 to 15 years. The three spacious floors taken up by the Red Gate Gallery regularly feature new expositions of local Chinese artists, and are certainly worth a visit when in the neighborhood.

The second floor of the Gate Tower houses a collection of rare stones. Over one thousand rare stones in over a hundred varieties are on display here together with a large number of stone cuttings and craved stone handicraft work. Naturally, stones are not only on display but also offered on sale in a small giftshop.

The third floor of the watchtower is taken up by a small exhibition on the history of the Chongwen District as well as of the Watchtowers and City Walls of the Old City of Beijing.

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 17:00 PM Daily.

History of Dongbianmen
The South East Corner Watchtower (Dongnan Jiaolou) was a so called "arrow tower" of the Outer City Walls during both the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD) and the succeeding Qing Dynasty Era (1644 AD - 1911). The construction of the Dongbianmen Tower started in the year 1436 AD in the Ming Dynasty. The job was finished 4 years later resulting the massive tower that can still be seen today, some  580 years later.
As a defensive structure, the reinforced tower counts a height of 30 meters with 144 arrow holes created in layers on all sides of tower structure.
Great view of the archway created in the city walls around the year 1900 AD in order to allow for passing train traffic.
Tracks of the Beijing/Fengtian Railway and the Jingshi circular railway come together near Dongbianmen. A train passes underneat the archway of the city wall heading towards Chongwenmen and the Shenyangmen East Station today better known as the Old Qianmen Station.
In the year 1900 AD, after an massive 8 nation allied invasion force landed on the coastline of Tianjin in the wake of the "Boxer Rebellion" making its way to the City Walls of Beijing eventually, the Dongbianmen came under heavy fire from the advancing forces. Eventually, the tower was captured and the city of Beijing fell to the allied forces becoming, at least in eyes of the local people, one of the symbols of the suffering caused by the foreign opening of the Chinese Nation in the Colonial Era.
In the park underneath the Dongbianmen plaquettes depict old historic photos and render basic explanations of the history of tower and walls.
This page was last updated on: July 1, 2017
My Great Web page
1) Dongbianmen (1) Directions to Dongbianmen - Dongbianmen Gate Park
2) Dongbianmen (2) Dongbianmen Tower 1
3) Dongbianmen (3) Dongbianmen Tower Platform
4) Dongbianmen (4) Red Gate Modern Art Gallery / Exhibitions
Satellite Image Map of DongbianMen / Red Gate and surrounding area of Beijing, by - Mastermap of Asia (entire). weergeven op een grotere kaart
Local People fly Chinese Kites on a warm and sunny spring afternoon in May 2005.
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