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 and a key transportation hub. Beijing has served as a capital for more than 800 years. The city had many places of historic interest and scenic beauty, including the imperial Palace (also known as 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 since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 has brought great changes to Beijing. Today's Beijing still retains the alluring fascination of an ancient capital, but has added a small forest of skyscrapers and a complete range of municipal facilities, transforming itself into an attractively modern metropolis redolent of history.