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Line 2

Line 2 (originally called "Beijing Subway Loop"), which opened in 1984, runs in a rectangular loop for a total length of 23.1 km, with 18 stops around the city centre, tracing the route of the Ming dynasty inner city wall. (Eleven of Line 2's eighteen stations are named after city gates {men means a gate}). It takes about 40 minutes to travel the entire distance along the line.

As China's first circular railway line, Beijing Metro Line 2 officially opened for business on the eve of China's 35th anniversary. In order to commemorate this anniversary, the three stations of Jianguomen, Xizhimen, and Dongsishitiao were selected to invite well-known domestic artists to jointly create six large-scale murals showing the three themes of the mountains and rivers of the motherland, ancient civilization and opening out to the world.

It was on April 27, 1984, that the secretary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee, Hu Qili, gave an instruction during a visit to the metro that it would be better to create murals and provide some sculptures to brighten up the stations. The artists would be allowed to sign their names on the works of art. Thus began the presence of art in Beijing’s subway system.

Only three stations on this line have any artwork. They are:

Dongsishitiao
Jinaguomen
Xizhimen

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