Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Tiananmen Square (or the Gate of Heavenly Peace) is the geographical center of Beijing and the largest city square in the world. It occupies 440,000 sqm and can accommodate 1 million people at one time. The square is known for the ritualistic flag raising ceremony-performed every day at dawn and dusk. Located at the center of Beijing City is Tiananmen Square, where you can visit Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and see the national flag raising ceremony. Thousands of people come to the Square every day. It is the must place to visit in Beijing City.
Tiananmen was originally built during the Ming Dynasty, but renovated during the Qing Dynasty. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the area was full of offices for imperial ministers. In the final days of the Qing Dynasty, many of the buildings were destroyed and the area was cleared out. The square was enlarged in 1949 and is now surrounded by The Forbidden City, Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, Great Hall of the People and National Museum of China. However, it is best known for the towering Monument to the People's Heroes, located in the center of the square.
The Monument to the People's Heroes commemorates the revolutionary martyrs. The towering monument is 37.94m high, weighs approximately 10,000 metric tons and is made out of 17,000 pieces of marble and granite. Engraved is an epigraph written by Mao Zedong. Eight reliefs depict the critical events of modern China.
South of the Square is the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, which pays tribute to the first chairman of the People's Republic of China. The hall was built in 1977 after Mao's passing. Mao Zedong's remains are laid in a crystal coffin in the main hall for viewing. To show respect, visitors are advised to observe a moment of silence when viewing the body of Mao.
The Great Hall of the People was built in 1959 and lies west of the Square. The hall is characterized for its white marble columns and crystal lights. In the back is a huge hall that can accommodate up to 10,000 people. A banqueting hall to the north can accommodate 5,000 people at one time. The Hall is also the National People's Congress and serves as the offices of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.
Five Star Red Flag-the Chinese national flag, flies high in the sky above the Square. To see the guard of honor raise the Flag is a must for the tourist visiting Beijing City. You have to get up very early and arrive at the Square before sunrise. Only by doing so can you see the ceremony clearly as there are crowds of people attending the ceremony every day.