Beijing Municipality covers the eastern parts of the Jundu Mountains in the northwest and the fertile North China Plain in the
With the city of Beijing at its center the municipality is one of the most populous parts of the world, in numbers
comparable to all of Australia.
Just southwest of present-day Beijing are the caves of Zhoukoudian where in 1921 the
remains of Peking Man were discovered, a local version of the sturdy Homo Erectus
that roamed the area some 750.000 years ago.
protect China's northern borders from invaders early versions of a wall were constructed in the Jundu mountains from the
7th century BC onwards.
The restored section of the Great Wall at Badaling is a major tourist destination.
Most of the
Ming emperors are buried at the foot of Mount Tianshou to the northwest of Beijing. Only one of the tombs, the Dingling
Mausoleum of Emperor Wanli, is excavated and accessible to the public.
The Summer Palace, just northeast of the
city is the place where emperors of several dynasties retreated during the hot Beijing summers.
Beijing has, with small
interruptions, been the capital of China ever since Kublai Khan founded the Yuan dynasty
in 1271, and hence the
city has troves of ancient and new monuments and places.