A black-and-white photograph: panoramic view of one of the three parts of Imperial Beijing, the Outer City (Waicheng 外城), which was located in the southern part of the city. It was separated by a wall from the Inner City (Neicheng 内城), which surrounded the third part, the famous Forbidden City (Gugong 故宫 or Zijincheng 紫禁城). The central passage between the outer and inner quarters was the Zhengyang Gate (Zhengyangmen 正陽門), better known as the Front Gate (Qianmen 前門). The Temple of Heaven (Tiantan 天壇) stood southwest of the Front Gate, at the main exit from Beijing – the Yongding Gate (Yongdingmen 永定門) on the outer south wall.
The photograph is the first of 449 photographs of Beijing and its surroundings in the album of Ivan Skušek Jr., purchased during his stay in Beijing (1914–1920). In the handwritten inventory of the album, the photograph is referred to as Chinesenstadt vom Tsien-Men gegen Himmelstempel. (DZ)