Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is not only the nation's political centre, but also its cultural, scientific and educational heart as well as a key transportation hub. Beijing has served as a capital of the country for more than 800 years. The city has many places of historic interest and scenic beauty, including the Forbidden City--the largest and best-preserved ancient architectural complex in the world; the Temple of Heaven--where Ming and Qing emperors performed solemn rituals for bountiful harvests; the Summer Palace--the emperors' magnificent garden retreat; the Ming tombs--the stately and majestic mausoleums of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors; and the world-renowned and genuinely inspiring Badaling section of the Great Wall. Large-scale construction has brought great changes to Beijing since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 that adds more and more new attractions to the mysterious old city.