Tiananmen Square, Beijing

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  • Tiananmen Square
    by PeterVancouver
  • Tiananmen Square
    by PeterVancouver
  • Tiananmen Square
    by PeterVancouver
  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Front Gate

    by Willettsworld Written Aug 8, 2009

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    The Front Gate, or Qianmen, was formerly known as Zhengyangmen and was once connected to the Arrow Tower that stands in front of it on the southern side of Tiananmen Square. First built in 1419, the gateway consisted of a gatehouse proper and an archery tower, which formed a large barbican. Today the archery tower and the gatehouse survive and it was extensively reconstructed in 1914 and incorporated modern design elements.

    It's now possible to visit it where there's a museum (see next tip) inside and where you get some good views over Tiananmen Square and Mao Zedong's Mausoleum.

    Admission: RMB20

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    Arrow Tower

    by Willettsworld Written Aug 8, 2009

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    The Arrow Tower, or Shenyangmen, was built in 1439 and stands just in front of the Qianmen or Front Gate on the southern side of Tiananmen Square. It was once joined to the Front Gate and was designed to offer its defending archers maximum range and accuracy against anyone entering via the Front Gate. Once boxed in between the two, any invaders were highly exposed to fire from both towers and from the city wall. It was destroyed during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 and rebuilt in 1906. It now stands on its own when Tiananmen Square was reconstructed during the 1950s. At 42 metres high, the gatehouse was, and still is, the tallest among all the gates of Beijing.

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    A huge square

    by stevemt Updated Jul 20, 2009

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    Just being here was a strange feeling as those who can remember seeing the tv footage 20 years ago will understand. The square itself is unremarkable, huge, and for me eerie. I kept imagining a student carrying a supermarket bag.

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    Explore Qianmen

    by sugarpuff Updated May 20, 2009

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    Walking through Zhengyang Gate heading north.
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    Qianmen area has always been of interest to me as it was one of the nearest parts to the Forbidden City (part of which is now Tian'anmen Square) that the Emperor would walk to/around. When leaving his 'City', the Emperor would walk south and out of Qianmen, which means 'Front Gate' and was used as an archery tower. He would then head a bit further south (about 50m) and walk out of Zhengyangmen. These two gates were first built in 1419. The gateway consisted of a gatehouse proper and an archery tower, which formed a large barbican. They used to mark the boundary between the inner and outer cities, but nowadays, Zhengyangmen stands isolated on a traffic island, facing its counterpart across several lanes of bus routes and cycle paths.

    When I first came to China, this area, known as Dazhanlan (but to the locals as Dashilar) was such a busy place bustling with fast food restaurants, Time Honoured Brands (shops which have been here for hundreds of years) and a mish mash of stalls selling anything from chopsticks to mugs which change colour when warm liquid is poured in to Mao Memorabilia. It was a fun place to bring guests and you could always get a feel of old China here. What is extremely interesting now is that you can still get that feeling of Old China, but this time from the original Qianmen main street in the 1920s and 1930s. Buildings have been modelled against what they used to look like which I think is extremely fun and is great as a tourist area. It will definitely bring in the crowds.

    Throughout this whole area, you can definitely catch a glimpse of how life used to be and exploring all the little hutongs will almost certainly make you feel like you've been transported back to Beijing in the 1920s!

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    Wear a RED SHIRT when in Tiananmen Square!

    by jumpingnorman Written Jan 31, 2009

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    Wearing Red in Tiananmen Square, Beijing

    I still remember the images of years ago when demonstrators and tanks were in confrontation at the Tiananmen Square (1989)…I did not think then that I would visit the same Square years later, wearing a red shirt in a sunny April morning…

    Tiananmen, translated in Chinese, as the Gate of Heavenly Peace is ironically the site of the brutal repression of massive demonstration for democratic reform on June 3-4, 1989. It did serve as a suburban residence for emperors, a place in the countryside yet near the capital.

    This is considered the largest public square in the world and is located at the center of Beijing. Tiananmen Square is composed of Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People and Mao Zedong Memorial Hall.

    When I visited, there was some sort of Chinese Holiday and it was nice seeing the throngs of citizens enjoying this humongous complex. I was also wearing RED to go with walls and the Chinese flag, and also for good luck

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    Tian an men, the symbol of China

    by enzhu Updated Dec 20, 2008

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    Tian an men
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    In the very center of Beijing, it's also South entrance of the Forbidden City.
    It's also the place where Chairman Mao Ze Dong declared found of the People's Republic of China in Oct. 1st, 1949.
    So it's not only symbol of Beijing, but also symbol of China.

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    The Largest Square

    by bojomacaraig Written Oct 12, 2008

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    Mao Museleom in Tiananmen Square

    The heroic fight of thousands of young men and women has played a crucial role in the events that ultimately led to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Union.
    The fight for Freedom and Democracy became unstoppable after June 1989.
    The blood shed in Tiananmen Square has come to symbolize the triumph of the spirit over brute force.
    Deng Xiaoping, Li Peng and the other butchers of Tiananmen failed to realize that the main casualty of the massacre has been the communist system, which was forever rejected by humankind everywhere...
    We are much closer now than ever before to accomplishing our goal of a Free and Democratic China...

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    Monuments & Sculptures

    by ValbyDK Updated Oct 5, 2008

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    Monument to the People's Heroes
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    There are several interesting monuments and sculptures on the Tiananmen Square.

    Just at the centre of the square you'll find the 'Monument to the People's Heroes'. It was erected in 1952, and is the largest monument in China's history. ‘The People's Heroes are Immortal' is engraved on the monument - famous words by Chairman Mao.

    Around the square there are eight (?) sculptures showing the development of Chinese modern history. Two of them are 'Great Contributions' and 'Carry out Chairman Mao's Behests'.

    We didn't discover all eight sculptures, but maybe you'll do better...

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    Zhengyangmen Gate

    by ValbyDK Updated Oct 5, 2008

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    Zhengyangmen Gate

    At the southern end of the Tiananmen Square, behind the Mao Mausoleum, the Zhengyangmen Gate (The Qianmen) is located.

    The Gate was built in 1419-1420, and was renovated in 1989. In the past, it was the front gate of the Imperial City - and a part of a double gate defence system.

    Zhengyangmen Gate is one of few remaining gates from the old city wall of Beijing. Inside the Gate you’ll find a small museum.

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    Mao Mausoleum

    by ValbyDK Updated Oct 5, 2008

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    Mao Mausoleum

    At the southern end of Tiananmen Square, you’ll find the Chairman Mao Mausoleum (also known as The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall - or The Mausoleum of Mao Zedong).

    The building was completed in 1977 - a year after the death of Mao. Mao had wished to be cremated, but the people of China wanted to honour him, and build his mausoleum. A story says that more than 700000 people did voluntary labour during the building of the mausoleum.

    The mausoleum is a very popular attraction, especially among Chinese people, and during the day there could be a very long line outside the mausoleum. I am told that the best time to visit the mausoleum is in the morning, but I just watched the building from outside.

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    Tiananmen Square - Potted Plants Decoration

    by SLLiew Written Sep 21, 2008

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    Every summer, Tiananmen which is pavement square is decorated with pots of colorful flowers and plants with different themes.

    This year 2008 is the Olympics theme. My favorite is the Beijing Olympics slogan "One World One Dream".

    There are other garden themes of Chinese depictions of bountiful, luck, wealth and even a bridge.

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    Tiananmen Square

    by SLLiew Written Sep 20, 2008

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    It is one of the largest squares in the world and occupies an important historical and political area in the Chinese psyche.

    Hence it has been a popular place to unfurl unauthorized protest. So while there are many tourists day and night taking photos and local Beijingers just enjoying the square, be aware of the concerns of security and sensitivity while visiting.

    Located in the heart of historic Beijing, it is not to be missed. There are several pedestrian road crossings and tunner crossings to get to the square. During the Olympic Games, everyone has to go through a security check before being allowed into the square.

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  • Anjin-san's Profile Photo

    Mausoleum of Mao Zedong

    by Anjin-san Updated Sep 12, 2008

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    Statue at Mao's Tomb
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    The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, commonly known as the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, or the Mao Mausoleum, the final resting place of Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China from 1943 and the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China from 1945 until his death.

    Although Mao had wished to be cremated, his body was embalmed, and construction of a mausoleum began shortly after his death. This highly popular attraction is located in the middle of Tiananmen Square, in Beijing, the capital of China. On this site had previously stood the Gate of China, the southern (main) gate of the Imperial City during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

    The remains of the Great Helmsman, as he is sometimes known, are on display for public viewing. People line up for hundreds of feet every day to see the former chairman, many paying tribute to him with flowers that can be purchased at the entrance on the north side.

    The mausoleum was built right after Mao's death (September 9, 1976). The groundbreaking ceremony took place November 24, 1976, and the mausoleum was completed on May 24, 1977. Hua Guofeng, who supervised the mausoleum's project, has his handwriting on the mausoleum's sign.

    According to China Pictorial, Issue 9, 1977, people throughout China designed and built the mausoleum. Material from all over China was used for the construction: granite from Sichuan Province, porcelain plates from Guangdong Province, pine trees from Yan'an, Shaanxi Province, saw-wort seeds from the Tian Shan Mountains in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, earth from the quake-stricken Tangshan, color pebbles from Nanjing, milky quartz from the Kunlun Mountains, pine logs from Jiangxi Province, and rock samples from Mount Everest. Water and sand from the Taiwan Straits were also used to symbolically emphasize the People's Republic of China's claims over Taiwan. 700,000 people from different provinces, autonomous regions, and nationalities did symbolic voluntary labour.

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  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Tian'an Men Square

    by K.Knight Updated Sep 12, 2008

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    Zhengyang Men tower
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    At the very heart of Beijing is the "peoples square," better known as Tian'an Men Square.
    This area is truly massive and houses such attractions as:
    Mao's Mausoleum - Where chairman Mao's body lies in state.
    The Arrow Tower, part of the old city walls
    Zhengyang Men tower - which now houses the history of Beijing museum
    The Great hall of the people
    The monument to the peoples heroes
    The China National Museum

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  • Anjin-san's Profile Photo

    Gate of Heavenly Peace

    by Anjin-san Written Sep 12, 2008

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    Tiananmen Gate
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    Tiananmen Square is the large plaza near the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen (literally, Gate of Heavenly Peace) which sits to its north, separating it from the Forbidden City. It has great cultural significance as a symbol because it was the site of several key events in Chinese history. Outside of China, the square is widely known for the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

    Tiananmen Square is the geographical center of Beijing City. It is the largest city square in the world, occupying an area of 440,000 square meters (about 109 acres), and able to accommodate 10,000,000 people at one time. The square is a conglomeration of splendid and beautiful flowers and the red national flag which flutters in the wind. The raising of the national flag is something which should not be missed by visitors to Tiananmen Square.

    In the center of the Square stands the Monument to the People's Heroes, which commemorates the martyrs who devoted their lives to the Chinese people. It reaches 37.94 meters (124 feet) which makes it the biggest monument in Chinese history. The body is made of hardy granite and is surrounded by white balusters. Engraved is the epigraph written by Mao Zedong, the founder of People's Republic of China. Eight reliefs depict the crucial events which took place in modern times, showing a part of the centuries-old history of China

    In the south of the Square is the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall. Mao Zedong, the first chairman of the People's Republic of China (PRC), is greatly admired by the Chinese People. The hall was built in 1977. It is divided into three halls: the main hall, the north hall and the south hall. The remains of Mao Zedong are laid in a crystal coffin in the main hall. From the exhibit in the north hall, you can learn something about Chairman Mao, Zhou Enlai and other founders of the state. While visiting the main hall, it is necessary to observe a respectful silence.

    In the west of the Square is the Great Hall of the People which was built in 1959 and occupies a construction area of 170,000 square meters (42 acres). It is so called because the National People's Congress is held in this hall. When entering the building you will see the central hall which is decorated with white marble columns and crystal lights. At the back of the hall is the great hall which can hold 10,000 people. The banqueting hall in the north has 5,000 seats and grand banquets are conducted on important occasions. In the south are the offices of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

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