The central axis, backbone of Beijing

China Daily | Updated: 2021-08-14 10:10
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Young people take wedding photos in front of the Imperial Ancestral Temple, Aug 16, 2020. [Photo by Zhang Jie/For China Daily]

Indeed, the scenery and buildings are seared into my memory. One remarkable building is located near our home. Its architecture is said to follow German design with two pairs of four buildings. Three still remain. The children in the compound used to call it the "Rome Building". It escaped demolition because of its location, the former site of the Imperial University of Peking. Consequently it was classified as a key heritage site under State protection. Legends seem to seep from its walls. One of the buildings was built specifically for the Empress Dowager Cixi as a theater stage, but collapsed due to poor maintenance and was demolished in the 1980s.

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