Beijing is a metropolis in Northern China, and the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the most populous cities in the world. Governed as a municipality under direct administration of the central government, Beijing borders Hebei Province to the north, west, south, and for a small section in the east, and Tianjing Municipality to the southeast. As the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for much of the past eight centuries.
Beijing has a glorious past, but is by no means stuck in the past. Standing side-by-side with old Beijing's crimson palace complexes are the city's modern buildings, the super-modern Olympic Village, with the Bird’s Nest Stadium and Water Cube; the dazzling shopping malls in Wangfujing Street and the colorful entertainment center of Houhai. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls and gates, and its art treasures and universities have made it a center of culture and art in China!