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'Bird's Nest' tops Beijing ranking of new landmarks
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China's National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest" because of its design, leads the ranking of Beijing's new landmarks.


The stadium, which will be the main venue for the 2008 Olympic Games, garnered 52,671 votes out of 72,841 ballots cast in the selection organized by the Beijing News.


Beijing West Railway Station, known for its Chinese traditional style, and the egg-shaped National Theater ranked second and third.


The National Swimming Center, or "Water Cube," and the leaning towers of China Central Television's headquarters, under construction in Beijing, as well as Financial Street, also ranked high.


The popular new landmarks include venues with old-time appeal, such as Houhai, a bar-dotted area in Beijing's heartland, where old courtyards and hutongs encircle a lake, and Qianmen, the city's earliest commercial street, whose traditional flavor didn't get lost in a recently-finished renovation.


The judging panel consists of renowned Chinese architects and city planners. But the general public has the final say in the selection.


Experts believe that the selection will raise public interest in contemporary architecture and give planners ideas of how the city should look in the future.


(Xinhua News Agency January 21, 2008)

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