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Tian'anmen Square

Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace)

Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) was the main entrance to the Forbidden City during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Built in 1417, it was first named the Cheng Tian Men, meaning that emperors obeyed the order of Heaven in ruling the country. Destroyed by fire twice, it was rebuilt in 1651 during the Qing Dynasty and renamed Tian An Men. It is also honored as the "Gate of the Nation." 

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties grand ceremonies were held at Tiananmen. Composed of the rostrum and gate tower, the building is 34.7 meters high and has five watchtowers. Supported by nine huge columns, the building has a splendid colorful roof of glazed tiles. With painted pillars and carved beams, the hall of Tiananmen Rostrum looks majestic. Sixty huge columns, representing the Earthly Branches designate years, months, days and hours and the Heavenly stems to designate marks of order, stand in perfect harmony to demonstrate the permanent stability of the nation. Tiananmen, a masterpiece of China's ancient architectural art, represents the superb skill and artistic talent of the Chinese people.

As one of the largest city squares in the world, Tiananmen Square occupies an area of 440, 000 square meters--spacious enough to accommodate half a million people. Many annual and special celebrations and assemblies are held here.

On October 1, 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong declared the founding of the People's Republic of China on the Tiananmen Rostrum, thus opening a new chapter in the history of China. In the new period of reforms and opening, Tiananmen, with its long history and rich culture, attracts people from all over the world.



Tian'anmen Square

At the very heart of Beijing, sits Tian'anmen Square, the largest urban square in the world. This vast space, measuring 40 hectares, has a historical significance to rival its size.

Enlarged in the 1960s, Tian'anmen Square now measures 880 meters from north to south, 500 meters from east to west and can accommodate up to one million people. Classical Beijing planning however, did not permit public squares. They were seen largely as dangerous places where crowds could gather and diverted attention and focus away from the Emperor.

The incredible size of the Tian'anmen Square, the gray colour of the surrounding buildings, the historical memories and the various monuments dotted about, leave some Western visitors unmoved by Tian'anmen. But the sheer wealth of historical sites and the political importance of the area make it a must- see for travelers to Beijing. This is not only the physical centre of China, but also the centre of power and politics. For Chinese visitors, the site is of utmost importance.



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