Beijing Olympic Park is a famous attraction that occured the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympics. The total area of the park is 2,864 acres (1,159 hectares), of which 1,680 acres (680 hectares) in the north are covered by the Olympic Forest Park, 778 acres (315 hectares) make up the central section, and 405 acres (164 hectares) in the south are scattered with venues for the 1990 Asian Games. Olympic Park embodies three concepts, that is, science and technology, green, human of Beijing City. The park integrates office, business, hotel, culture, sports, meetings and dwelling into a new urban area.
As the primary section of the Olympic Park, this section has many important venues and landmark structures. In the northwestern corner, there is the Olympic Village, while in the southern part, you can see the National Stadium (Bird’s Nest), Aquatics Center (Water Cube), Convention Center, Indoor Stadium, and the China Science and Technology Museum. Traveling in this section, you can still feel the spirit of competition and friendliness.
With an overall height of 433 feet (132 meters), Ling Long Tower is the highest building in the Olympic Park and functioned as the International Broadcasting Corporation during the games. When night falls, it looks extremely charming with colored lights changing alternatively. To the south of Ling Long Tower lies the National Stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Games were held. As the centerpiece of this park, the stadium covers an area of 2,195,838 square feet (204,000 square meters) and can hold 91,000 people. It takes the shape of a bird’s nest, which resembles a cradle for breeding lives, symbolizing mankind’s hope for the future. The unique structure of Bird’s Nest is of great value both in terms of art and architecture.
Not far from the Bird’s Nest, there is the National Aquatics Center, also known as Water Cube. Its creative design concept is originated from the arrangement pattern of cells and natural structure of soap bubbles. The huge square box was produced by combining modern technologies with traditional Chinese culture. In the past, Chinese ancestors believed that the sky is round while the earth is square, and that is the way nature keeps harmonious. The square Water Cube together with the round Bird’s Nest, embody and interpret this idea very well.
The Northern Section – Olympic Forest Park
Located in the north of Kehui Road, the Forest Park is seen as the terminal point of Beijing’s central axis. It is divided by the Fifth Ring Road into two zones, the Southern Garden and the Northern Garden. The Southern Garden is characterized by a grand artificial landscape with the Aohai Sea and Yangshan Mountain built with traditional technologies of classical garden construction. In contrast, the Northern Garden with vast vegetation is more close to nature. An expressway that crosses over the Fifth Ring Road makes an ecological corridor between the two districts.
Outside the south gate of the forest park, the Sightseeing Tower is erected. As the 6th tallest sightseeing tower in China, it is composed of five independent towers, among which the highest is 810 feet (246.8 meters) in height. The five towers are built on steel frameworks and arranged orderly in the pattern of the five Olympic rings. From a distance, the towers look like nails, hence the nickname Giant Nails. Visitors can have a bird’s eye view of the whole park from the top of the tower.
The Southern Section – Former Sports Center and China Ethnic Culture Park
As the former National Olympic Sports Center, all the venues within this section were used for the 1990 Asian Games, including the stadium, gymnasium, and Yingdong Natatorium. Besides the Sports Center, there is the China Ethnic Culture Park (China Ethnic Museum). It collects and displays cultural relics of the 56 ethnic groups of China. Visitors can learn more about ethnic culture and spend a fine day taking part in the diverse festivals. In addition to these venues and the museum, there is a parcel of land that is to be developed into cultural and business districts in the future.
With novel design concepts, magnificent landmark buildings, and splendid natural landscapes, the Olympic Park successfully integrates sport with nature, providing a model for the mutual development of man and nature.
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