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Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 19:30

A History of Beijing in 10 Maps with BIS Winter Reception

Lars Ulrik Thom

Residence of the Ambassador of the Netherlands
10, Sanlitun Dongsi Jie Chaoyang District

朝阳区 三里屯东四街 10 号 荷兰大使官邸

Notice: Due to limited capacity, registration for this event is now close.

Please note that tonight's venue is fully booked so please do not come without registration confirmation.  

We are thrilled to announce a talk from Lars Ulrik Thom on Beijing’s past 100 years, seen through 10 different maps.

After the talk, please join us for our Winter Reception. We will be delighted to enjoy a beautiful evening with you over food and drink

 Please note, priority will be given to BIS members. Remaining spaces will be opened up to non-members.


What was Wangfujing called during the Cultural Revolution? When did Beijing get its first paved road? Where is the first ring road? When did the first embassies in Beijing open? How was the legation quarter designed? When was the city wall torn down? How did the Japanese change the city? When was Tian’anmen Square created?

If you live in Beijing, you probably feel that it is a completely different city from the one in which you arrived. Although Beijing has not moved geographically, the social setting, the architecture, the demographic component, the traffic and the infrastructure all seem to have changed within a short timeframe. 

Just as it is fascinating to explore Beijing’s history, it’s equally relevant and challenging to follow the city’s ongoing changes and to understand the direction in which Beijing is moving.

Lars will explore with us the radical changes that have altered the Beijing cityscape over the past 100 years. Using 10 different historic and recent maps from the Beijing Postcards collection, we will piece together how the city became what it is today.

 Lars Ulrik Thom is the Co-founder of Beijing Postcards, a company specialising in Beijing’s history. Lars has lived in China for almost 20 years and studied Chinese at Copenhagen University. Beijing Postcards collects historical photos and maps of Beijing and runs an oral history project in the Dashilan area and other historical neighbourhoods of Beijing. The ambition of Beijing Postcards is to create a platform where people can relate to the ever-changing environment of the capital.

We would like to remind you that it is now necessary to register before each event by writing to info [at]

The deadline for registration is midday (12.00pm) on Thursday 6 December, the day of the event. We cannot accept RSVPs after this time.

BIS events are open to foreign passport holders only, please remember to bring your passport.

Reservations are valid only upon receipt of a confirmation email from BIS.

We expect this event to be popular, so please register soon. Priority will be given to BIS members; remaining spaces will then be opened to non-members.

All BIS events are off-the-record. Photography, filming and recording are not permitted.

Non-members welcome for a single lecture fee of RMB 60;
students with valid ID RMB 30. 

Membership desk open 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm lecture.