How hard is it to protect the central axis?

  "China News Weekly" reporter Yuan Suwen

  Published in the 1063rd issue of "China News Weekly" magazine on October 3, 2022

  Although he lives outside the Fourth Ring Road in Beijing, on weekends, Qin Hongling likes to change the subway three times, enter the old town in the Second Ring Road, and stroll around the Bell and Drum Towers and Shichahai, which is connected to it.

She is the dean of the School of Humanities of Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and has written several monographs on architectural ethics and urban culture.

Walking through the market in front of the Bell and Drum Tower, in her eyes, is "the process of feeling the charm and humanistic atmosphere of old Beijing".

  In the center of the convex-shaped city outline of the old city of Beijing, a central axis of 15 miles (about 7.8 kilometers) runs through the north and south.

At the northernmost end of the central axis are the bell tower with a height of 47.95 meters and the drum tower with a height of 46.7 meters.

Starting from the Bell and Drum Tower, go south, cross the Wanning Bridge, and climb over Jingshan to reach the Forbidden City.

  The Shichahai Sea next to the Bell and Drum Tower is the northern end of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.

From the Yuan Dynasty, merchant ships from the south arrived full of grain, silk, cloth, tea, wood and other materials, forming the prosperity of "the former dynasty and the latter market". Baimi Xiejie used to be a distribution center for certain commodities.

Di'anmenwai Street, where these hutongs are located, has a total length of about 730 meters. It starts from the Drum Tower in the north, ends at Di'anmen in the south, connects with Nanluoguxiang in the east, and borders on Shichahai in the west. It is the earliest and most stable commercial market on the central axis.

  From Qin Hongling's point of view, the restaurants, crowds and hutong residents in the hutongs of Diwai Avenue remind her of the street life in her hometown of Chengdu, but unlike Chengdu, she can watch while drinking tea on the rooftop terrace by Shichahai. To the tall Bell and Drum Tower, the roof of the old house stretches like waves, forming a high point in the Wanchun Pavilion in Jingshan.

"It feels great because of the imagery of the city," she said.

  The fireworks in the market continue to this day, and the old neighborhoods have fashion elements.

"It's a very natural look." Qin Hongling is happy to see young people gathered in the old streets and alleys. She mentioned the newlyweds taking wedding photos in front of the Drum Tower, the old people exercising in the open space between the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower, and Shichahai in winter. The ice skating rink was overcrowded, "the harmonious atmosphere between the ancient building space and the modern market life is unique to the Bell and Drum Towers".

  In Beijing, which is full of "antiques", there are more and more scenes where ancient buildings are integrated into modern times, which is an exploration of the sustainable development of cultural relics.

In 2011, Beijing launched the work of declaring the world cultural heritage of the central axis, and more than 100 cultural relics repair projects have been launched one after another.

  Yu Ping, former deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics and counselor of the Beijing Municipal Government Counselor's Office, told China News Weekly that 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The development has become an important topic that has attracted much attention. "We put forward the application of the central axis for the better protection and development of historical cities, which is in line with the heritage protection goals pursued by UNESCO."

  Restoring the "Fifth Facade"

  On the northwest side of the Bell and Drum Tower, there is an unnamed small alley on the south side of the former site of the Di'anmen Police Station.

The alley is narrow, and only two people can walk side by side. There are several pots of peppers at the entrance, and Lao Shi's house is in an inconspicuous narrow door.

  The small room was 35 square meters in total, and there lived a 48-year-old family of four.

In this cramped home, there are still more than a dozen pigeons, and the pigeons are on the roof. Every morning and evening, Lao Shi will drive the pigeons to circle the house for a few times. The ridge of the house constitutes the old Beijing life scene of "the bell and drum towers with bean juice, the blue sky and white clouds".

  Lao Shi is an employee of a state-owned enterprise with a low income. Raising pigeons is his hobby.

His old pigeon coop was plastered over the roof, and the plasterboard quickly aged and turned greyish-yellow.

Recently, the Xicheng District government has replaced him with a new pigeon cage for free. The cage is made of iron, and the top is made of an old roof. old house.

  Most of the renovation and upgrading of the neighborhoods near the Drum Tower have been completed, and the northwest side of Lao Shi's residence is under construction to improve the quality of public space.

Liu Weiyan, the executive deputy commander of the Shichahai Fujing Street Construction Headquarters, introduced to China News Weekly that this round of renovations includes Dongjiaogan Hutong, West Jiaogan Hutong, Xiaolingdang Hutong, and four unnamed alleys on the south side of the former site of Di'anmen Police Station. Hutong, the facades and gate towers of the houses along the street were renovated, the weak current flying wires pulled out from the hutongs, and the electric boxes on the walls were sorted out, changed, removed and hidden, in addition, the roads of the hutongs were paved, and Demolition of illegal structures, resurfacing of roads, and repair of sewer pipes.

  In Liu Weiyan's office, there are two pictures hanging side by side, both from the top view of the Drum Tower, and the Jingshan Wanchun Pavilion in the distance.

One shot was taken in April 2021, with Di'anmenwai Street as the axis. On both sides of the street, the traditional herringbone roofs were hidden in the added sheds, and the outdoor units of air conditioners could be seen everywhere, while the other was after rectification. In the renderings, the super-high buildings have been demoted, the roofs have been restored to the ancient standard, and the style of the ancient capital is revealed.

  The landscape formed by the roof is called the "fifth façade".

Liu Weiyan said that the renovation of the fifth facade is a key task, which includes the renovation of the roof that does not meet the requirements of the central axis application, the demolition of illegal construction, the relocation of ancillary facilities, and the renovation of pigeon lofts. Demolition and restoration of illegal construction.

"It's the renovation of the roof." He said, in addition to demolishing the illegal construction of the roof, the scaffolding affecting the facade and the fifth facade of the facility will be removed or greened as needed, and the solar energy that occupies a large area of ​​the roof will be removed. After the water heater collector plate was removed, the government replaced it with an indoor electric water heater free of charge for the residents, and the outdoor units of the air conditioners that were "adorned" were also moved from the wall near the roof to a more concealed place. , the masking process is adopted, "basically invisible from the appearance".

In addition, some modern-style small buildings were demoted.

For example, the original Anmen police station has been reduced from three floors to one floor. After the restoration construction in the future, there will be a herringbone roof of an old Chinese house.

  Liu Weiyan introduced that on the northwest side of the Bell and Drum Tower, the implementation scope of the fifth façade renovation work is to the south of Lingdang Hutong, the north of Gulou West Street, and the east of Old Gulou Street to the district boundary area of ​​Xicheng District, with a total area of ​​about 1.19 hectares.

At present, the renovation work of the fifth facade involves a total of 92 points of roof and roof construction, involving 89 residents, 182.5 houses, and a construction area of ​​2,536 square meters.

At present, 64 sites that meet the construction conditions have all started.

  On Waidi Street, a "Renaissance Plan" was also launched.

Liu Weiyan introduced that in terms of improving people's livelihood, the drainage system of the sewers was repaired, the problem of water accumulation in low-lying courtyards facing the street was solved, and barrier-free ramps for the elderly and disabled people were also built.

As for the renewal of the exterior facade of the business, in accordance with the policy of "one design for one household, one plan for one household, one countermeasure for one building", and the policy of "micro-repair, micro-rectification, micro-renewal", they held a symposium to let the surrounding Residents and merchants participated extensively, listened to their opinions, and gained their support.

  "The application of the central axis to the World Heritage List is a major event for the country, and the residents of the area are generally supportive." Liu Weiyan mentioned that in the process of cleaning up the illegal construction in the hutong, in order to repair the fifth facade, before the illegal construction on the roof was demolished, he also cooperated with The residents conducted full and equal consultations, and "no place was demolished by administrative coercion."

  Some residents in the Gulou area have difficulty living, and the area of ​​formal houses is generally only ten square meters. Therefore, they build super high illegal buildings for living and living.

Liu Weiyan said that there are currently three families who lost their homes after the illegal construction was demolished. However, due to various reasons, they did not meet the conditions for affordable housing, so they were not demolished, but renovated.

  Although almost all residents have been properly resettled, there are also people who make Liu Weiyan feel guilty and regretful. For example, a resident living near Diwai Street has added two floors to the legal house of 12 square meters, and the first floor is used as a The kitchen and toilets live on the second and third floors. In order to support the application, they agreed to demolish the illegal construction.

  "They are built on the top three floors, which are very conspicuous. I went to work and said that it would affect the line of sight of the fifth façade, and the illegal construction needed to be demolished. They supported the work very much." Liu Weiyan still remembers this family and often visits Visit and try to help solve the problem.

He introduced that most of the property rights of the bungalows near the Bell and Drum Tower belonged to the government and were “public rental houses” allocated in the past. The 12-square-meter family was a reorganized family, and only the hostess’s registered permanent residence was in Xicheng. The tenant of the house is another relative of the hostess, but only the tenant of the original house can enjoy the policy, and it cannot benefit the family of three.

  In order to restore the original texture and traditional style of the old courtyard, and reproduce the vitality of the courtyard.

In the spring of 2021, the neighborhoods surrounding the Bell and Drum Towers started the "application-style lease termination" work.

This work is based on the principle of "residents' voluntary, equal consultation, fairness and openness, and moderate improvement". Residents who meet the conditions for rent cancellation within the scope of implementation can apply for rent cancellation after completing the relevant procedures. The government will provide monetary compensation. Eligible residents can apply for co-ownership housing or public rental housing in Daxing District and Chaoyang District.

  Liu Weiyan introduced that in the northwest area of ​​the Bell and Drum Tower, there are 30 courtyards, 185 households, 369 houses, and a building area of ​​5,250 square meters. The application-style lease termination work will be started on March 15, 2021, and will be completed on May 14, 2021. The centralized contract signing work was completed every day, and a total of 14 courtyards participated in the lease cancellation work. A total of 72 households were withdrawn, and a total of 107 houses were withdrawn, with a construction area of ​​1532.14 square meters, of which 97 were directly managed by 66 households, with a construction area of ​​1382.79 square meters. meters, 6 private properties, 10 houses, with a construction area of ​​149.35 square meters.

  Liu Weiyan said that replacing the small house with a big house in a slightly farther area is very popular among residents.

He remembered that there was a family surnamed Shi. The three people lived in a 9-square-meter house and purchased a two-bedroom apartment through an application-style resignation, and Lao Peng, who originally lived in an area of ​​only 20 square meters, purchased a large two-bedroom apartment. After that, there is an unspent amount of compensation left.

  The purpose of the application-style lease termination is to relieve the population of the Bell and Drum Tower area and restore the texture of the ancient city.

"There is no one-size-fits-all approach to driving people out." Qin Hongling believes that this is the benefit of applying for rent cancellation in the Bell and Drum Tower area. The implementation of this policy is aimed at reducing the number of households by 30% to 50% and transforming the "savage growth" of the complex. After being renovated, the remaining residents are also an important part of the central axis landscape.

Qin Hongling believes that cultural heritage should be integrated into the city and become a part of citizens' life.

  Chen Mingjie, director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics and director of the Beijing Central Axis Application and Protection Office, said: "The environment for the preservation of cultural relics is getting better and better. There is an idiom called lips die and teeth are cold. If a cultural relic is a 'tooth', the environment is its 'lip'. ', 'Teeth' must be well protected, and 'lips' must also be well protected. For example, some non-cultural heritage buildings in cultural relics have been evacuated, which not only protects cultural relics, but also greatly improves the living environment and happiness index of the people. A win-win.”

  Application for World Heritage: The "Grasp" for Protecting the Ancient City

  Qin Hongling mentioned that more than ten years ago, when she was researching in Beijing Hutongs, she often met interesting people, such as Kang Youwei's former residence, which had become a large courtyard. There was a tree with a crooked neck in the courtyard. Several generations of citizens of the large courtyard will explain the history of Kang Youwei and the tree to visitors.

Those oral stories and traditions are precious historical imprints.

  But these historical imprints are threatened with disappearance.

The hutongs lost their original appearance due to the "population explosion" caused by private buildings.

Wu Qun has lived in Beijing for 40 years. He mentioned to "China News Weekly" that in 1994, Parkson entered China and opened its first shopping mall on Fuxingmennei Street in the Second Ring Road, which became a gathering place for young fashionistas. Unable to stop, Wu Qun turned to the nearby Wu'an Hou Hutong to find a parking space.

  Baixing blooms on the edge of the inner city, next to the West Second Ring Road.

According to the "Jingshi Wuchengfangxiang Hutong Collection" during the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty, the nearby Wu'anhou Hutong is also known as Xisi Bei Ba Tiao, which is the most outside of the city among the Ba Tiao Hutongs in the Xisi area.

Wu Qun recalled that Wu'an Hou Hutong was very wide, with old locust trees growing on both sides of the road. Many courtyard houses were the residences of princes in the past, with tall gates. What impressed him most was the rear window of the inverted house facing the road. An intricate grille window, painted red and opened with a piece of wood, he had only seen later in Song paintings.

  Wu'an Hou Hutong was demolished many years ago, and the window remains in Wu Qun's memory.

"At least in the late 1990s, the hutongs in Beijing were still beautiful and quiet. The form of the building space was relatively pure, and there were not so many new materials such as cement and color steel plates." Wu Qun joined Beijing TV in 1996 and became a member of A well-known documentary filmmaker, for more than 20 years, he has recorded ancient buildings and new changes in Beijing through the lens of cameras.

  The original way of life in the old house is also unique, but there are also inconveniences. "Some large single-family homes have toilets, but small houses do not have toilets and need to go to public toilets." Wu Qun mentioned that he filmed the documentary " In Beijing Memories, writer Liu Yida talked about the "grand occasion" of queuing for public toilets in a hutong: "There are so many people living in a hutong, come first, come first, and then squat in there, so the hutong is called 'round squatting'".

  "In the past, there were no sewage pipes, the toilets were dry toilets, and there was a special occupation for excrement diggers." Wu Qun said, for example, there is "Fenzhang Hutong" in Nancheng, Beijing, which is a gathering place for large excrement practitioners, and other old hutongs. Because the house is a civil structure, it is easy to leak rain after being in disrepair for a long time, and before the gas pipeline is connected, honeycomb is used for cooking in the hutong.

  Beijing's old city life disappears with the change of residence.

In Wu Qun's documentary, he also reproduced the "beautiful calmness of flowing water" in Beijing's courtyard houses and hutongs in the past.

From the 1950s to the 1990s, the resident population in Beijing increased, and more and more residential courtyards were no longer the same.

"Basic living facilities are in short supply." Wu Qun said, after urbanization, old houses that were in disrepair were demolished, and layers of high-rise buildings were erected.

  Wu Qun said that in the hutong residents he photographed, some people envy those who live in buildings, and hope that they can also live in houses with kitchens, faucets, gas stoves and toilets.

Before the 2008 Olympic Games, in order to reduce air pollution, Hutongs were "coal-to-electricity", and heating in winter was changed from burning coal to electricity. After that, as the protection of historical districts was paid attention to, "demolition and construction" was called stop.

  In the 1990s, Beijing proposed to recapture the old city's style and "wear boots and hats" for the new building, and told China News Weekly Closer to the traditional style.

"How to restore the style of the ancient capital? At that time, after repeated collisions and various discussions, in the end, it was still difficult to protect the entire city."

  In Beijing, which is full of ancient buildings, 25 historical districts have been designated.

"According to the current standard for declaring a famous historical and cultural city, you only need to have two historical blocks, but at that time, Beijing could demarcate 25 blocks." Lu Zhou said that after the demarcation, the protection of so many historical blocks has become an important task. The new question is, "Many courtyard houses have become large courtyards. How can the living environment be improved? Can the old houses be demolished? Should they be protected like cultural relics?"

  In the eyes of some scholars, Beijing's "ancient capital style" is a sense of spatial order.

Ji Jianqing, a researcher at the Institute of Culture of the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, once wrote in his book "Looking for the Old Beijing", imagine that we have returned to Beijing in the Qing Dynasty, and now the ancient buildings that constitute the "ancient capital style" are all located in an almost perfect place. Each has its place in the orderly space.

Royal buildings such as palaces, gardens and temples are not only places for exercising political power, but also symbolize the supremacy of imperial power with their solemnity and mystery. The market, or because of its scenery and scenery, has become a place for literati and doctors to visit elegant gatherings.

They form the inner fabric of the city, providing a realistic space for the people who live in it.

  "More importantly, the real life experience provided to people by various buildings and scenery in ancient Beijing is full of historical sense. Deep historical meaning, a solemn 'monument'." Ji Jianqing wrote that China is a country with a profound sense of history, and Beijing is a capital with hundreds of years of capital history and thousands of years of history.

In Beijing in the Qing Dynasty, people could come across historic sites everywhere. City towers, palaces, temples, and even street markets all have a long past that can be traced.

  "People often say that after it snows, Beijing will return to what it used to be. This is because the snow covers up the illegally built parts and highlights the old roof." Wu Qun said that in the photos of the Republic of China, Lao She, In Ji Xianlin's or Wang Zengqi's writings, the life in old Beijing is leisurely and beautiful. This is the old Beijing style that many people miss.

  In 2018, Shan Jixiang, the former director of the Palace Museum, showed images of changes in the old house he lived in in a public speech.

In 1974, Shan Jixiang, who was in his 20s, played the accordion and took a photo in the courtyard where he lived. In the main courtyard of the courtyard in the photo, there are only the main room and the wing room, and the middle of the courtyard is bright.

In 2014, 40 years later, Shan Jixiang returned to the courtyard where he grew up to take pictures. The courtyard has become a large complex. The courtyard has been filled with illegal construction and debris, and only the roofs of the main house and the wing can be seen.

  "Why did Beijing's Siheyuan become what it is now? She was not respected like the Forbidden City, and she was not respected because people did not see her value. A Siheyuan, when it is given a reasonable bearing, will it be Dignified." Shan Jixiang said in his speech that when seven or eight families live in a courtyard, sharing one bathroom, one tap, and only one formal room, people feel that the courtyard is not suitable for living needs. The housing management department also felt that it was of little value and stopped repairing it, which gradually created a reason for the demolition, because it had no dignity.

  "It's not that the courtyard itself is not good, it's that we didn't treat her properly." Shan Jixiang believes that to protect the old city of Beijing and protect the courtyard, it is necessary to treat the courtyard with dignity just like the Forbidden City, "to lighten the burden on the overwhelmed courtyard. , remove the overloaded function, and the large courtyard can return to the courtyard."

  Lu Zhou said that after years of trial and exploration, along with the advancement of the process of applying for the World Heritage List along the central axis, the renovation of the neighborhood near the Bell and Drum Tower has taken into account both popularity and style, and is a near-ideal renovation project.

  "If the entire old city of Beijing was completely preserved, it would be enough to become a world heritage site in itself, but now the old city of Beijing is not complete, the city wall is gone, and part of the moat has become a subway. We hope to preserve as much as possible. The things left by the ancient city, then the central axis application will become the starting point to protect the ancient city." Lu Zhou said.

  Qin Hongling believes that applying for the World Heritage List can comprehensively improve the management and utilization of the central axis heritage, eliminate factors that threaten and destroy the outstanding universal value of the central axis heritage, and promote its sustainable protection and development.

"Applying for World Heritage is a new starting point for better protection of the central axis, and it is also an opportunity and an important measure to further promote the better overall protection of the old city. Applying for World Heritage is a display of culture, a transmission of civilization, not only for world culture. A more in-depth exploration of the heritage protection spirit is also an exploration of the overall protection of Beijing Old City, a world-famous ancient capital.”

  Improve the system and mechanism of the application for protection of the World Heritage

  Yu Ping, 63, once served as deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics, and is now a counselor in the Beijing Municipal Government Counselor's Office.

She has worked in cultural relics protection units for more than 40 years and is well aware of the difficulty of protecting cultural relics in Beijing.

"In the space along the central axis, the management and use units of property rights are extremely complex, involving not only central units, but also municipal units, as well as different districts. It’s not clear.” Yu Ping said that the most typical is Di’anmenwai Street in front of the Bell and Drum Tower, Xicheng District governs streets and shops facing the street, and alleys that are impassable to the east, Dongcheng District governs the eastern area and Passable alley.

  Yu Ping hopes that the application of the central axis can effectively and reasonably promote the exploration and practice of the evacuating work of cultural relics protection units.

Most of the cultural relics protection units at all levels on the central axis are temple buildings. During special historical periods, some units and their employees moved in.

"In the past, our cultural relics department could only inform the property rights unit of cultural relics that they are the first responsible for the protection of cultural relics. We must protect cultural relics in accordance with the law, and let them vacate the residents or office spaces occupied by cultural relics through negotiation. Retirement and resettlement, but these units can only apply for funds through their own channels to solve the resettlement problem, if the unit can't solve the fund, we can't." Yu Ping said that some units, under the urging of the cultural relics department, just gave The workers who occupy the cultural relics fire fire extinguishers, conduct fire prevention drills, or conduct electricity and fire safety education, even if they "perform their duties and responsibilities", "if they really let them settle these workers, they can't find money."

  Yu Ping mentioned that since 2017, "actively promoting the application of the central axis" was written into the "Beijing Urban Master Plan (2016-2035)". The special working group for the protection of heritage has fully launched the application for the protection of the Beijing Central Axis.

"This is a particularly good mechanism innovation." Yu Ping said that the central axis application work was included in the construction of the national cultural center, and after the establishment of a special working group, all relevant government departments were linked.

  "In the course of work, the most prominent problem is how to coordinate the occupation of the central unit, including how to deal with the funds." Yu Ping said, so a functional organization was set up under the Office of the Capital Planning and Construction Committee (referred to as the Office of the Capital Planning and Construction Committee), responsible for coordinating Beijing Coordination of major matters between municipal and central departments, which involves the vacating of cultural relics occupied by central units.

  In June 2022, Chen Mingjie, director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics, mentioned in an interview with the media that in recent years, the system and mechanism of Beijing's central axis application and protection work have been further improved. There are many units along the central axis, and they are under the coordination mechanism of the First Planning Commission. , forming a benign working mechanism of "central and local coordination, military-civilian interaction, and urban linkage", solving many problems.

At the municipal level, the Central Axis Application Office was established, and the Central Axis Application and Protection Center was established.

These measures are the fundamental guarantee for the progress of the protection of the central axis.

  On June 7, 2021, Zhang Wei, director of the Beijing Municipal Planning and Natural Resources Commission and director of the Office of the Shougang Planning Commission, revealed that at the "One Line Passing the City"-Beijing Historical and Cultural City Protection Symposium held in Shougang Park. In terms of improving the system and mechanism of the protection of famous cities, in accordance with the requirements of the "Regulations on the Protection of Beijing's Famous Historical and Cultural Cities", the famous city committee is included in the work system of the first planning committee. Major matters involving the protection of Beijing's famous historical and cultural cities should be reviewed by the capital planning and construction committee and submitted to the Party Central Committee. , the State Council request report.

In addition, in terms of selecting the best and best protection teams for famous cities, the Municipal Party Committee Editorial Office approved in February 2021 to adjust the establishment of the First Planning Commission Office and set up a new historical and cultural city protection office.

  "The First Planning Commission Office is starting with the work of evacuating cultural relics on the central axis, and is continuing to promote the overall protection of the old city and the rational use of cultural relics." Zhang Wei said at the meeting at the time.

  It is understood that in the process of promoting the evacuation of cultural relics, especially the relics involved in the application of the central axis, Beijing has completed the evacuation of the households in the cultural relics such as Huangshiyuan, and is currently promoting the cultural relics of the Taimiao Temple, the Temple of Heaven and the Xiannong Temple in an orderly manner. Evacuation work, study and promote the transfer and eviction of cultural relics such as Prince Chun's Mansion and Xianliang Temple.

Beihai Hospital and Dongtianyi Shopping Center have also been demoted, and the bus station on the south side of the Deshengmen Arrow Tower has all been evacuated.

  Yu Ping said that the establishment of the new mechanism has solved the long-standing concern of the cultural relics protection department.

She gave the example of the retreat of Emperor Shizhen. This is the oldest and most complete royal archives complex in China. It was built in the thirteenth year of Jiajing in Ming Dynasty (1534) and is located on Nanchizi Street on the east side of the Forbidden City, Beijing in Ming and Qing Dynasties. The core area of ​​Chenghuangcheng was announced as a national key cultural relics protection unit in 1982.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the North Courtyard of the Emperor's History has been used by the First Historical Archives of China, and the South Courtyard has been a residential complex.

"Every household has a gas tank. It's very dangerous, and the living conditions are very poor. There is no water or toilet in it." Yu Ping said that the cultural relics protection department once gave the property rights unit a yellow card and asked them to solve the problem, but until the The central axis of the World Heritage List entered the fast lane, and progress was made in the retreat of the "Dazayuan".

  It is understood that in 2019, Beijing will vacate 23 households in the South Courtyard of the Emperor's History; in 2020, Beijing will demolish the non-cultural heritage buildings and return the property to the Palace Museum; in 2021, the First Historical Archives of China will be the management of the Emperor's History The user unit has completed the restoration of the cultural relics and the exhibition layout of the North Courtyard of the Emperor's History, which was opened to the public by appointment on September 1 this year.

  Most of these cultural relics were occupied in the early days of the founding of New China.

Around the 1950s, large offices lacked office space, so they chose large courtyards, including the palaces and other places to work, and then occupied them all the time.

For example, the Palace of Shouhuang in Jingshan Park, an important heritage site on the central axis, has been used as the Beijing Youth Activity Center (City Children's Palace) since 1956.

  The Palace of Shouhuang is a special royal building complex in the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was used as an off-campus education place for children and children. The halls and main buildings in the Palace of Shouhuang were changed into teaching and activity places. Western-style ceilings and chandeliers were installed. In 2011, the Beijing Central Axis Application After the heritage project was launched, the occupied ancient buildings on the central axis began to be evacuated and repaired. The Shouhuang Palace complex officially returned to Jingshan Park at the end of 2013. After several years of renovation and restoration, in November 2018, the Shouhuang Palace officially opened to Open to tourists.

  Yu Ping said that the Beijing Municipal Government and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage have established the "Beijing Central Axis" system of the joint meeting of the Ministry of World Heritage Application and Protection to jointly promote the delineation of the protection scope, the interpretation of heritage values, and the formulation of protection plans. A coordination mechanism has also been established at the municipal level, and a coordination meeting on major issues on the central axis is held every two weeks.

  "We are not only protecting the cultural relics, but also comprehensively considering the problems faced by the sustainable development of the city and improving people's livelihood, which is the government's greatest concern." Yu Ping said.

  Realize the maximum value of heritage buildings

  The old city of Beijing was originally in the shape of a mouth. During the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty, when the population increased, a square outer city was built to the south of the inner city. The two squares were connected to form a "convex" shape.

The inner city of the old Beijing is also known as the "Four-Nine City". The Forbidden City is in the center, surrounded by four towers that control the four directions, Tiananmen, Di'anmen, Dong'anmen, Xi'anmen, called "four-way door" There are nine city gates in the inner city surrounding the imperial city. The Zhengyang Gate is located at the center point of the southern city wall of the inner city, which is the center of the convex-shaped city outline.

  In the modern context, Zhengyangmen divides the central axis into "north central axis" and "south central axis".

Among the sites of the central axis, the north central axis of the inner city is "the front and the back market", while the south central axis of the outer city is mainly the Temple of Heaven and the Temple of Xiannong.

Due to historical reasons, the Temple of Heaven is relatively intact. In contrast, the outer altar area of ​​Xiannongtan is basically occupied by new buildings, but the ancient buildings in the inner altar area are relatively well preserved.

  The Beijing Ancient Architecture Museum, located in the Xiannong Temple, was established in 1988. It is a special museum to study and display the history and culture of ancient Chinese architecture and construction techniques, as well as the history and culture of Xiannong Temple. The director, Xue Jian, told China News Weekly, Since the 1911 Revolution of 1911 overthrew the monarchy and the Qing Dynasty withdrew from the stage of history, the sacrificial function of the altar temple disappeared, and the Xiannong altar, which was originally a forbidden place for royal sacrificial sacrifices, was opened.

In 1912, the northern section of the outer altar wall of Xiannong altar was broken, and people began to enter it to farm.

In January 1913, the Xiannong altar was briefly opened to the public. After that, the inner altar was turned into "Xiannong altar Park" by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of China, and the Beiwai altar was turned into "Chengnan Amusement Park". As "Chengnan Park", the "Royal Forbidden Land" is completely open to the common people.

Since 1921, Beiwaitan has gradually become a civilian residential area and a gathering community for entertainers. The nearby flyover has become a stage for performances. Since then, it has formed the flyover commercial area of ​​old Beijing.

  The stadium in the southeast area of ​​the outer altar of Xiannongtan can be traced back to the Beiping Municipal Sports College in 1924.

In the autumn of 1937, the Peiping Special City Public Stadium was opened in the southeast area of ​​the outer altar of Xiannongtan, which is now the Beijing Xiannongtan Stadium, which was the first public stadium in Peiping at that time.

During the Japanese occupation period, auto repair shops and medical experimental institutions were also established in other areas of the outer altar.

After the restoration of Beiping, the Beiping Municipal Government continued to use these functions.

After the founding of New China, the institutions in the Xiannong altar were handed over to the new regime and became the stadium and medical research institutions of the new China. These institutions and their employees also stayed in the Xiannong altar.

  In July 1949, North China Yucai Primary School was stationed in Xiannongtan, using ancient buildings as teaching rooms. This school was Yan'an Primary School established in Yan'an during the Anti-Japanese War. After moving to Beijing, it was renamed Beijing Yucai Primary School.

In October 1952, after negotiation with Beijing Yucai School, and with the consent of the Beijing Municipal Government, the Xiannongtan ancient building area was officially used as the campus of Beijing Yucai School, including the inner altar and the altar of gods.

Xue Jian believes that the establishment of Beijing Yucai Primary School in Xiannongtan at that time not only protected cultural relics, but also played the greatest role of ancient buildings at that time, made contributions to people's education, and realized the greatest value of cultural relics buildings. Education has also been fully developed. There are better school buildings, the relocation of cultural relics, the restoration of historical features of cultural relics, and the protection and inheritance of traditional culture, which are also the greatest manifestation of the value of cultural relics.

Xue Jian introduced that Beijing Yucai School has now been vacated from Xiannongtan, and the new site is not far away, but moved out of the Xiannongtan Inner Temple area. The school building will also greatly enhance the teaching hardware facilities and improve the teaching environment.”

  Xue Jian mentioned that the first units to vacate were the Beijing Cultural Relics and Ancient Construction Company, which worked in the inner altar, and the Beijing Ancient Architecture Research Institute, which used the "Shen Cangyuan" as its office. These two units both belong to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics.

He said that the Bureau of Cultural Relics actively implemented the requirement of "turning the blade inward, self-revolution", and took the lead in demolishing the non-cultural heritage buildings in the inner altar. Now the historical features of the ancient buildings have been restored, the viewing gallery has been opened, and rice and moon chrysanthemum have been planted. public appreciation.

  In the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Xiannong altar was an important place for the emperors of all dynasties to worship Xiannong and cultivate the rice fields.

Xue Jian expects that the future Xiannong altar will be built into a new highland to showcase the farming culture of the Chinese nation.

Through exhibitions and experience activities, tourists can understand the connotation and historical original appearance of sacrifices, and cooperate with cultural and tourism enterprises to activate the cultural relics.

"As a museum, we try to explain its history to the public as much as possible."

  As for the Bell and Drum Tower at the north end of the central axis, Liu Weyan also plans to carry out restorative construction and protective repairs to the empty house left after the application-style lease withdrawal. In the process of repairing, following the concept of micro-rectification, micro-repair and micro-renewal, adopting old materials, old craftsmanship and old methods, using old technicians, using old systems, old patterns and old appearances, the effect of repairing is to achieve the same effect as old repairs. As old."

  Liu Weiyan said that taking this opportunity, the old block will also make up for the shortcomings of people's livelihood, update the public space, kitchen and bathroom, and increase public supporting service facilities. For example, after the demolition of the extraterrestrial police station, it will become a new community neighborhood committee.

  "China News Weekly" 2022 Issue 37

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