With a total area of 440,000 square meters, the Tiananmen Square
boasts the largest of its kind in the center of Beijing. Over hundred years,
many ceremony and demonstration are held here. The grandeur Tiananmen Gate
(Heavenly Peace Gate) is a national symbol with the Great Hall of the People
on the western side and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and the Museum of
Chinese History to its east and west. The Monument to the People's Heroes -
the 36 meters obelisk, made of Qingdao granite, dominates the center of the
square. The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and the Qianmen gate, sit in the
Tian'anmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) was built in the 15th century and
restored in the 17th. From imperial days, the yellow glaze-tiled double-eaved
tower functioned as a rostrum for proclaiming to the assembled masses. October
1, 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the new China. The
tower has five doors and in front of it are seven bridges spanning a stream.
Only the emperor could use the central door and bridge. On the top of the
central door is a gigantic portrait of Chairman Mao with slogans on each side
says 'Long Live the People's Republic of China' and 'Long Live the Unity of
the Peoples of the World'. Walk through the gate, you will on your way to the
imperial city - Forbidden City with no charge while a panoramic view from the
tower costs 30 for Foreigners.
Right beside a pair of marble lions in front of the Tian'anmen Gate
stand obelisk marble columns engraved with entwisting dragons and clouds - an
ornamental architecture called Huabiao. Its history can be traced back to Yao
and Shun, legendary kings in remote antiquity. To solicit public criticism, it
is said that wooden crosses were erected at marketplaces for people to write
down complaints. Later during the Han (206 B.C.-- 220 A.D.) wooden posts were
replaced by stone pillars, which gradually became the sumptuous columns to
palace gates. Huabiao can be usually found in imperial gardens and
On the top is a plate-like flat called Chenglupan (dew-collecting) on which
squats an animal called kong (a legendary animal for watch-keeping) facing to
the south. They were called wangjungui or "looking forward to the emperor's
return," who watched over the emperor's excursions and called him back. The
couple inside the gate facing north, called wangjunchu or "looking forward to
the emperor's progress," was considered to supervise the emperor's behavior in
the court when he neglect court affairs.
Great Hall of the People
This is the venue of the legislature, the National People's Congress.
Summit meetings are often held in the 10,000-seat auditorium with the familiar
red star embedded in a galaxy of lights in the ceiling. Also you can visit the
5000 seat banquet room where US president Richard Nixon dined in 1972. The
admission costs Y 35.
Monument to the People's Heroes (Renmin Yingxiong Jinianbei)
Built in 1958 on the southern side of Tian'anmen Square, this 36-meter
obelisk bears bas-relief carvings of key revolutionary events such as the
Chinese destroying opium in the 9th century.
Mao Zedong Memorial Hall (Mao Zhuxi Jiniantang)
Located just behind the Monument to the People's Heroes is the hall where
the remain of Chairman Mao was kept and many Chinese show deep respect when
confronted with the physical presence of Mao.
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