Introduction to Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is situated at the center of Beijing and is one of the most symbolic attractions of the city. Tiananmen Square is named after Tiananmen Gate which is the entrance to the Forbidden City. As the world’s third largest square, Tiananmen Square occupies 440,000 square meters and has witnessed some of the most significant events in China’s history.
Tiananmen Square also has other tourist attractions such as Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People’s Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao and National Museum of China. A trip to Tiananmen Square is an essential part of any Beijing tour and is often an unforgettable part of the tour.
The original Tiananmen Tower was constructed in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty and through the course of time the tower had been destroyed and rebuilt. It was not until 1661 during the reign of Emperor Shunzi of the Qing Dynasty that the tower was remodeled, rebuilt and renamed Tiananmen Tower. The building is 38 meters in height and 66 meters in length and has five arched gates. Today the tower is widely recognized by the Chairman Mao portrait which hangs above the archway gates.
Monument of the People’s Heroes
The Monument of the People’s Heroes was completed in May 1958 and was one of the largest memorials built of its time taking 6 years to complete. The monument is made of granite and marble and weighs over 10,000 tonnes. The monument was built to commemorate the eight revolutionary phases of China. The monument is dedicated to the people who sacrificed their lives for the revolutionary movements during the 19th and 20th century.
Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao
Located on the southern end of Tiananmen Square is the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao. Within the Memorial Hall is the where Chairman was laid to rest in 1976, you can still see his body in a glass coffin. Apart from Chairman Mao there are also other memorials dedicated to the communist comrades Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Zhu De, Liu Shaoqi and Chen Yun.
National Museum of China
The National Museum of China is located on the eastern side of Tiananmen Square. The museum was opened its doors to the public in 2003 and is currently the largest museum in China. The main exhibits and artifacts in the museum cover the history of China and focuses on the Chinese Revolution (1911-1920).
Flag Raising Ceremony
To see the guards of honor raise the Flag is a must for the tourists visiting Beijing. You have to get up really early and arrive at the Square before sunrise. By doing so can you see the ceremony clearly as there are crowds of people attending the ceremony every day. The reviewing stands flanking Tiananmen Tower on the west and east sides were opened up free on the first day of 2012 to the public to watch the flag rising ceremony. It is now available to group reservations for the opening day on the first day of each month.
1. Bus Routes: 1, 5, 10, 22, 37, 52, 205, 728, 802 geting off at Tiananmen West.
2. Bus Routes: 1, 2, 10, 20, 37, 52, 59, 82, 120, 126, 203, 205, 210, 728 getting off at Tiananmen East.