13 Maret 2012

National Grand Theatre – Beijing's Futuristic Opera House

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Beijing is the capital of China, and has long served as the seat of Chinese power. It is one of the six ancient cities of China, and is home to some of the country's most iconic landmarks. The imposing Forbidden City, the epic Tiananmen Square and the revolutionary National Stadium are all found here. There are also plenty of ancient temples and modern parks to visit. While some tourists maybe daunted by the challenge of exploring the vast city, the activity is made easier by the layout of the streets, which run in concentric “rectangular circles”. In addition to being at the centre of the country's politics, Beijing is a hub for art, science and culture.

The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), also known as the National Grand Theatre, is a large opera house, with an area spanning 12,000 square metres. Construction on the building started in December 2001, and although construction finished by July 2007, the inaugural concert was only held in December 2007. The main building, the Centre, is surrounded by an artificial lake. The Centre's ellipsoidal dome shape has lead to it being described as “the Egg”. The gorgeous structure is composed of titanium and glass, and was designed by Paul Andreu, the French architect.

The inside contains three halls which can easily seat over 5000 people. The Drama Theatre lies to the west, the Concert Hall to the east, with the Opera House right in the middle. The entrances are designed to maintain a natural flow of visitors and to prevent congestion. The National Grand Theatre is located to the west of Tiananmen Square, and despite its futuristic design, complements the ancient structures found in its vicinity.

Catching a show at the National Grand Theatre is considered a “must do” when visiting Beijing, just like visiting the Forbidden City and the Xiushui Silk Market. Tourists can make sightseeing easier by finding Beijing accommodation close to these iconic landmarks. The Ascott Beijing offers luxury Beijing apartments within easy reach of the capital city's most beloved attractions. Its excellent services and convenient location make it an ideal place to stay.