Beijing Olympic Park is where the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympics took place. It occupies a total area of 4.47 square miles (11.59 square kilometers), of which 2.63 square miles (6.8 square kilometers) in the north are covered by the Forest Park, 1.22square miles (3.15 square kilometers) make up the central section, and 0.63 square miles (1.64 square kilometers) in the south are scattered with venues for the 1990 Asian Games. The park was designed to contain ten venues, the Olympic Village, and other supporting facilities. Afterward, it was transformed into a comprehensive multifunctional activity center for the public.
Olympic Forest Park
Located in the north of Kehui Road, the Forest Park is seen as the terminal point of Beijing’s central axis. It is divided by the Fifth Ring Road into two zones, the Southern Garden and the Northern Garden. The Southern Garden is characterized by a grand artificial landscape with the Aohai Sea and Yangshan Mountain built with traditional technologies of classical garden construction. In contrast, the Northern Garden with vast vegetation is more close to nature. An expressway that crosses over the Fifth Ring Road makes an ecological corridor between the two districts.
Statue in Olympic GreenOutside the south gate of the forest park, the Sightseeing Tower is erected. As the 6th tallest sightseeing tower in China, it is composed of five independent towers, among which the highest is 810 feet (246.8 meters) in height. The five towers are built on steel frameworks and arranged orderly in the pattern of the five Olympic rings. From a distance, the towers look like nails, hence the nickname Giant Nails. Visitors can have a bird’s eye view of the whole park from the top of the tower.
The Central Section
As the primary section of the park, this section has many important venues and landmark structures. In the northwestern corner, there is the Olympic Village, while in the southern part, you can see the National Stadium (Bird’s Nest), Aquatics Center (Water Cube), Convention Center, Indoor Stadium, and the China Science and Technology Museum. Traveling in this section, you can still feel the spirit of competition and friendliness.
With an overall height of 433 feet (132 meters), Ling Long Tower is the highest building in this park and functioned as the International Broadcasting Corporation during the games. When night falls, it looks extremely charming with colored lights changing alternatively. To the south of Ling Long Tower lies the National Stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Games were held. As the centerpiece of this park, the Bird’s Nest covers an area of 2,195,838 square feet (204,000 square meters) and can hold 91,000 people. It takes the shape of a bird’s nest, which resembles a cradle for breeding lives, symbolizing mankind’s hope for the future. The unique structure of Bird’s Nest is of great value both in terms of art and architecture.