A convenient stop off of the subway, the Ancient Observatory is a transfer point between the loop line and line 1. Sorry folks, you'll have to get off the subway to go for a visit and then pay your forty-cent fare to get back on but it's worth the cost and more.
Built in the early 1000's the ancient observatory had many astronomical revelations. It's one of the few places that have been preserved from the ancient times in Beijing proper. In fact, with the modern skyscrapers, it looks a bit out of place. My first impression of this place is that it is part of the the Great Wall.
Rest assured, time has not forgotten the observatory. On the ground level are shops and restaurants but they don't overshadow the place.