Beijing Ancient Observatory

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The Beijing Ancient Observatory (北京古天文台) is located to the southwest of Jianguomen Gate. With a history of over 500 years, it was the center of astronomical observation in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Built in the reign (1436-1449) of Ming Emperor Zhengtong, it was first called "The Terrace for Observing the Stars." The astronomical instruments used were copied from Yuan Dynasty models. In the reign (1628-1644) of Ming Emperor Chongzhen, a new set of instruments was made by Xu Guangqi and others, and a big advance was made in astronomical observation. The European system of astronomical measurement was introduced in the Kangxi period (1662-1722), and at the same time new types of instruments were designed and made by the Belgian Jesuit priest Father Verbiest.

The bronze astronomical instruments on display at the observatory are representative works of science and technology of the Qing period.

Now Beijing Ancient Observatory has been converted into Beijing Ancient Astronomical Instruments Exhibition, belonging to the Beijing Observatory, and keeps working on the science field.