Beijing is an Ancient City of which the original lay-out was much unchanged between the years1644 AD, when 3rd Ming Emperor Yongle re-designated Peiping into the Capital Beijing providing a new city lay-out, and the year 1949 AD when Chairman Mao Zedong declared the Peoples Republic of China with Beijing again as its Capital. In those earlier years Fengtai was not a District but a small farming village, just over the river and outside the South-Western City Walls and outside Xuanwu. At that time there was a railway leading up the west flank of the river towards what is now Beijing West Railway Station, one of the cities main transportation hubs.
Some resemblance of History for Fengtai came with the dawning of the Jin Dynasty, when Beijing became the Imperial Capital of all of China for the First Time.
The Lugou Bridge, over the Yongding River southwest of the city, was built in 1189 during the Jin Dynasty.
When after 1949 AD the population of the city of Beijing (and China) grew remarkably with the new prospering nation (an end to war, disease and destitude poverty) and the influx of workers and administrators to a new Beijing, Fengtai Village slowly but surely became integrated with the nearby City on its flank. Not originally part of the Imperial City, Fengtai Village turned into slow and drab Fengtai semi-industrial district and suburb lined with somewhat impersonal semi-highrise appartments, and some factories, including the nearby thermo-electric plant on the River Canal. After 1985, when Deng XiaoPing leading a new Government had sought an opening up of China and economy to the outside world the situation for Fengtai started turning around. By the end of the millenium new Banks, buildings and a few modern highrises had been constructed. Street-life and traffic was busier and livelier. Adjacent Fengtai district now lay the TianNing (Temple) Highway Overpass, an important artery onto the cities second ring road. Fengtai had modernized remarkably and was a vibrant community on a new and interesting scale (see BaiYungGuan Taoist College Report). With China rapidly growing into a world economic success, changes to Beijing and Fengtai are currently almost too hard to keep up with. Although certainly still in its original state from the millenium, economic developments and needs of Beijing have prompted a new 3 year Government reconstruction plan announcing wholly new economic opportunities for the South-Western District of Fengtai (more to be added on this later). The coinciding organization of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games have added another layer to Fengtai's new make-over, to be complete in the Year 2010.
Currently two new churches are being built in the area, and Buddhism can once more be practised at magnificient and ancient TianNing Pagoda, the oldest structure and Temple in Beijing.
Highlights of the District : Beijing China Peoples Public Security University, TianNing Si or Temple of Heavenly Tranquillity and Pagoda (technically located inside Xuanwu District), the oldest structure in Beijing and the gigantic Beijing West(ern) railway Station. Last but not Least the far away but historically important Lukou Chiao, better known internationally as Marco Polo Bridge. Find the bridge inside southern Wanping Village, now incorporated into Fengtai District.
A Map depicting All of Fengtai District Beijing
All Maps used in this Website : Overview of Beijing including Fengtai, Downtown Beijing, The Forbidden City, Ming Tombs, the Summer Palace Museum, etc
Located in West Beijing outside the 2nd Ring Road, Beijing Western Railway Station is the main station for trains heading inland and south towards TaiYuan, PingYao and Xian. Other destinations are ....
Only recently connected to the Central City and now a part of Fengtai District of Beijing is Wanping Village. A small Walled Town beside the Yongding River, untill recently Wanping Village was difficult to reach and the only ways to get there were either through a complicated set of bus-rides, or by Cab/Taxi or Car.
Full Map of the Beijing Subway System of 2008 AD - Click Map for FULL Version !
Wanping is an ancient Walled Town that lies at the Yongding River, once an important watersource for the Imperial City. Across the River lies the famed Bridge described by early Silk Road traveler Marco Polo, and now internationally best known as the Marco Polo Bridge. The bridge, known in China as the Luguo Qiao, is further renowned as the point of the initial skirmishes that (finally) ignited the War with Japan in 1937 AD.
With a history of over a 1000 years dating back to the Liao Dynasty, Lugou Qiao is an ancient Military Stronghold protecting the south-western approaches to the Imperial Capital of Beijing.
Built as a military stronghold to keep out marauding bands of Manchurian Warriors descending from the North-East the
town existed mainly as a military base until the Ming Dynasty when it became a small agricultural village.
The Walled City is now a protected cultural relic and a somewhat popular tourist destination. Apart from the small 0.2 Square Kilometer Old Village of Wanping which holds only one street, a Large Museum full of records and Photos from the eight years of Anti-Japanese War in the 1930's & 40's, and ten shops catering products of arts & crafts and those commemorating the past, there is the important Anti-Japanese War Memorial Site near the South Wall of the Village, as well as Marco Polo Bridge just west of the Little Town. Go explore all three sites on foot, which does not require too much effort.