Tiananmen Square Facts
Tiananmen Square is the heart of Beijing City and the largest center plaza in the world. As a site of many important events, Tiananmen Square enjoys a great political, historical and cultural significance.
Type: Historical Sites, Architectural Buildings, Museum, Interest & Landmarks
Best Seasons: All seasons
Recommended Visiting Time: Half a day
Opening Hours: 5:00 ~ 22：00
Tickets: Free for Square
Address: Chang’an Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100009, China
Tiananmen Square is a vast open concrete expanse at the heart of modern Beijing. Here you can see the national flag raised at dawn and lowered at dusk every day, and the locals, as well as visitors strolling about at ease. The most famous site, Tian'an Men is where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
The impressive expanse of Tian'anmen Square has hosted momentous events like the declaration of the People's Republic of China by Chairman Mao in 1949 and is surrounded by a host of world-class sights, from the Forbidden City to China's National Museum.
Tiananmen Tower (under maintenance and not open to public at present) was first built in 1417 and acted as the front gate to Forbidden City. During Qing and Ming Dynasties, Tiananmen Tower was the place for officials and eunuchs to issue the emperor’s proclamation. It could be open only in major occasions such as emperors’ wedding, enthronement and ceremonies to worship heaven or earth.
The 33.7 meter high Tiananmen Tower is made up of the tower with 60 giant columns and below platform built in Sumeru throne. The tower is rather glorious, dazzling golden brick paving on the ground, two elegantly designed doors carved with delicate decorative pattern, the arch and beam drawn with Chinese traditional patterns with auspicious meaning. The front side of Tiananmen Tower has 5 arched doors, among which the mid one is exclusively open for the emperor in ancient times. Above this special door hangs a big portrait of Chairman Mao, and on its two sides you can read two sentence—one is “Long live the People’s Republic of China” while the other is “Long live the Unity of People of Whole World” Confronted with Tiananmen Square, Jinshui River flows by. Across Jinshui River builds some bridges for different people with different status.
With a height of 37.94 meter, Monument to the People’s Heroes is the largest monument in China’s history, also the first building after the founding of New China.
The monument is piled up by 17,000 pieces of granite and white marble. It includes platforms, sumeru thrones, body and head from bottom to top. The lower part of platform shapes like a crabapple flower, but the upper is quadrate and enclosed with white marble columns. The big sumeru throne above the platforms is inlaid with exquisite reliefs which depict the crucial events and showing a part of the centuries-old history of China. The front body of Monument to the People’s Heroes is faced with Tiananmen Tower and inscribed with large, glazed words by Mao Zedong (毛泽东): Immortal People's Heroes. The back part of the monument is composed of 7 pieces of stone with handwriting by Chairman Mao Zedong and inscribed by Premier Zhou Enlai (周恩来) which read “Glory forever”. The solemn and grandeur monument reflects the tremendous contribution of revolutionary martyrs and people’s strong homage to them.
Monument to the People’s Hero was designed by Liang Sicheng (梁思成) and other great architects after collecting the opinion of the influential person from construction zone, research zone and art zone. It is crystallization of culture and wisdom of people. In addition to paying respects to martyrs, Monument to the People’s Heroes still shows Chinese traditional national art, and acts as the essence of Chinese architectural art.
Step down from the white marble base at the rear of the Hall of Preserving Harmony, a wide courtyard separates the outer court from inner court.
Situated in the west side of Tiananmen Square, Great Hall of the people covers 170,000 square meters. This building involves the style of traditional Chinese architecture with the essence of western architectures. With 12 25-meter high marble gateposts standing in the frontage, the marble floor in peach-pink, translucent quartz lamp hanging on the roof, Great Hall of the People presents an atmosphere of refinement and elegancy.
In fact, Great Hall of the People is mostly used for ceremonial activities, national meeting or other special events like large anniversary celebration, memorial service for former leaders etc.
Mao Zedong Memorial Hall was built in 1977 to commemorate the founding leader Chairman Mao. It enjoys two floors. The first floor can be divided into three parts. In the Northern Hall, there is a lifelike white marble statue of Chairman Mao and an exquisite picture scroll of the beautiful lands in China. In the main hall, visitors can pay a view to the body of Chairman Mao. The great man lies in a crystal cabinet, draped in the flag of the Chinese Communist Party which is emblazoned with hammer and sickle. Chinese people show deep respect when faced with the physical presence of Chairman Mao. The Southern displays the literary achievements of the Chairman Mao. The second floor is equipped with 6 Revolutionary Performance Showroom of 6 great leaders including Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi (刘少奇), Zhu De (朱德), Deng Xiaoping (邓小平) and Chen Yun (陈云). By large amounts of detailed and accurate photos, documents and other material objects, the showrooms give an expression to the historical picture of how Chinese people make a revolution and build a new China.
As a blend of collecting, displaying, research, archaeological studies, public education and cultural communication, National Museum of China is a comprehensive museum with an emphasis on Chinese art and history. It enjoys large scale, rich collections, and becomes one of the most popular museums in the world. Most charming collection is Ancient China Exhibition with 2026 cultural relics containing 521 fist level cultural relics. In the sequence of the changes of dynasties and focusing on cultural relics, the exhibition shows the endless stretches of Chinese civilization. The exhibition is made up of 8 parties according to different periods.
Passing through Tiananmen Square, the magnificent imperial palace coming into your eyes is charming Forbidden City. Once forbidden but now permitted. It will be an enjoyable experience to visit a huge palace once built by the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties used to live in. Pass across various doorways to admire the magnificent and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow glazed tile roof, white marble base and splendid colorful paintings. The cultural richness of china is truly reflected at this historical palace.
Tiananmen Square is at the city central axis of Beijing, just at the south of the Forbidden City. You can get there very conveniently by taxi, subway, bus, bicycle, and others. If you go by Beijing subway, you can take the Metro Line 1 to get off at Tiananmendong (天安门东) or Tiananmenxi (天安门西), or take the Metro Line 2 to get off at Qianmen (前门). And let’s see the distance to the hot attractions in Beijing as following.
Getting up early (04:40~07:40 depends on seasons) ensures you to watch the flag raising ceremony at sunrise, performed by a troop of People’s Liberation Army soldiers drilled to march at precisely fixed paces per minute.
Depending on the time of visiting, be ready for long queues through the security check before you can get to the square - but well worth the wait. There is another security check before entering Chairman Mao's Memorial Hall, so depositing your bag in advance is time-saving.
Opening hours and admission fee for different attractions:
|Great Hall of the People
09:00 - 14:00 (December 1-March 31)
08:15 - 15:00 (April 1 - June. 30)
07:30-16:00 (July 1 - August 31)
08:30-15:00 (September 1 - December 30)
|Mao Zedong Memorial Hall
08:00 - 12:00 (Tuesday & Sunday)
07:00 – 11:00 (July 1 – August 31)
|National Museum of China
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