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China’s colourful capital, Beijing is home to around 12 million people. Boasting a history spanning 3,000 years, Beijing is a melting pot of old and new, with skyscrapers towering above ancient Pagodas, modern shopping facilities and old markets, and some of the finest traditional opera and acrobatic displays in the country. The city centre is Tiananmen Square, host to the Grand Hall of the People, Chairman Mao's Memorial Hall and numerous museums, monuments and parks. The Forbidden City was an imperial palace that now houses historic treasures, and the Summer Palace is beautiful amid its vast gardens, lakes and canals. The Temple of Heaven, where once a year the Emperor prayed for good harvests, is the largest temple in China. Other important historic sites close to Beijing include the auspicious Ming Tombs and the awe-inspiring Great Wall, stretching 6,500 kilometres.