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Beijing – Bird’s Nest & Water Cube

2Shining brightly in Olympic history, Beijing still glows with pride over the 2008 Summer Games. Along with the strong showing of its athletes, the country’s grand architecture also grabbed the spotlight on the world stage.  Chinese architects conceived a 40,000-ton steel framework to surround the giant National Stadium and referred to the inspiration for the design to have been taken from traditional Chinese ceramics.  The building definitely sports novel spatial effects with high-design elements, made particularly dramatic due to the massive size, given the design. It has been nicknamed “Bird’s Nest” due to its appearance, and the engineering marvel held 91,000 spectators during the Olympics. Since the 2008 games, it has hosted car races and an indoor skiing park, though it does not house a permanent government or private function. 2
Also, on your visit, be sure to see the neighboring aquatics venue, nicknamed “Water Cube.” This stunning rectangular blue box gives the impression of being full of water, and is particularly mesmerizing at night, as it is lit from within.  In proud Chinese tradition, the colors and forms are modified to form fish and other designs to highlight national events and holidays.  It’s a quick and fun place to visit while in Beijing.  It also gives one a sense of the enormous cultural pride of the Chinese people during the hosting of the historic games. 

Sources: Wikipedia, Travel Smith,
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