Monday, August 25, 2008

The Most Amazing Bike Course in the Olympic History (Part 2)

Olympic Cycling BMX match is really like traveling around Beijing's most classic sights. No wonder the Chinese media called the Beijing Laoshan Mountain Bike Course the most beautiful bike course in the Olympic history.

Continued with my last post, here is the introduction o the first stage for the Beijing Laoshan Mountain Bike Course:

Beijing's North-south Central Axis

The Forbidden City remains important in the civic scheme of Beijing. The central north-south axis remains the central axis of Beijing. This axis extends to the south through Tiananmen gate to Tiananmen Square, the ceremonial centre of the People's Republic of China. To the north, it extends through the Bell and Drum Towers to Yongdingmen. Interestingly, this axis is not exactly aligned north-south, but is tilted by slightly more than two degrees. Researchers now believe that the axis was designed in the Yuan Dynasty to be aligned with Xanadu, the other capital of the empire.

Beijing central north-south axis bifurcates central Beijing, straddling the fourth ring road. The importance of this north-south axis is clearly explained by Zixuan Zhu and Reginald Yin-Wang Kwok in their essay "Beijing: The Expression of Political Ideology," in Culture and the City in East Asia: "Following the Confucian tradition, Beijing was planned along a north to south axis, representing the authority of the state. The Imperial Palace, government offices, religious buildings, and minor royal residences were all located, symmetrically, on the east and west sides of the central axis. Political power and social position were clearly demarcated on the urban landscape." The location of the Olympic Park thus embodies the Chinese government's stated goal of "integrating the 2008 Olympics with Chinese culture and spiritual civilization."

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