Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square

Literally and metaphorical at the heart of Beijing, the vast expanse of Tiananmen Square covers over 100 acres making it one of the largest public squares in the world. It was here, in 1949, that Chairman Mao Zedong declared the founding of the People's Republic of China, especially symbolic with the Forbidden City, the symbol of imperial China, close by.

Around the square sits one of the city's most iconic structures. To the south stands Qianmen Gate the original gate into the city from the Ming Dynasty. To the west is the Great Hall of the People, the meeting place of the National People's Congress whilst to the east stands the National Museum of China which houses artefacts and cultural relics from China's extensive history. The Forbidden City is to north, with a portrait of Chairman Mao at its gate, looking out over the square. Perhaps the most famous building on the square is Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, Soviet-style mausoleum that contains the embalmed body of the leader.

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Tiananmen Square Map

Eight Facts About
Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square is named for the ‘Gate of Heavenly Peace’ (Tiananmen)

The People’s Republic of China was announced here on October 1, 1949

First built in 1651, the square has been enlarged to over four times its original size

The square can fit a million people in it, and because of this has in the past been a rallying point for protests, including the May Fourth Movement in 1919 and the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989

The Monument to People’s Heroes, at the centre of the square, has eight large relief sculptures that shows the development of modern history in China

During the Ming and Qing dynasties the Tiananmen Tower, to the south of the square, was used to make proclamations to the nation

Mao Zedong actually wished to be cremated after his death

The National Museum of China has more than 3 million historical artefacts and relics in its collections

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