Beijing, or "Jing" in the abbreviation form, is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the country's political, cultural and international exchange center, and the host city of the 29th Olympic Games in 2008 as well. Located in the north of the North China Plain, Beijing covers an area of 17,000 sq km and has a population of 12.16 million. With a time-honored history and splendid culture, Beijing is one of the famous historical and cultural cities and ancient capitals in the world. With abundant tourism resources, Beijing has opened more than 200 tourist attractions to the public, such as the Palace Museum, the largest imperial palace in the world, The Temple of Heaven where the emperors used to pay homage to Heaven, the Summer Palace, an imperial garden, the Great Wall at Badaling, Mutianyu and Simatai, Prince Gong's Residence which is the largest quadrangle in the world, etc. The metropolis contains 7,309 historical sites, of which 42 are under state protection, and 222 under city protection..