The Dongcheng District of Beijing
covers the eastern half of Beijing's urban core, the Old City. Its 40.6 km sq (15.7 sq mi) area, further subdivided into 17 subdistricts, includes all that section of the Old City inside the 2nd Ring Road with some areas outside, even crossing the 3rd Ring Road at its northernmost extent.
Settlement in the area dates back over a millennium. It did not formally become a district of the city until the establishment of the Republic of China
in 1911. The name Dongcheng was first given to it in a 1958 reorganization; it has existed in its current form since a 2010 merger with the former Chongwen District to its south.
Dongcheng includes many of Beijing's major cultural attractions, such as the Forbidden City
and Temple of Heaven
, both UNESCO World
Heritage Sites. More than a quarter of the city's Major National Historical and Cultural Sites are inside its boundaries, with a similar percentage of those protected at the municipal level. Tiananmen Square
is also in Dongcheng, along with other popular destinations for domestic and international tourists such as the bars and nightlife in the hutongs of Nanluogoxiang and the shopping in Wangfujing
. Over three-quarters of the district's economic activity is in the service sector.