Searching for locations: Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China

Some interesting facts before we get out of the bus…

Tiananmen Square or Tian’anmen Square is in the centre of Beijing name after the Gate of Heavenly Peace, a gate that one separated the square from the Forbidden City.

The Square contains,

   the Monument to the People’s Heroes
   the Great Hall of the People
   the National Museum of China
   the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.

The square is about 109 acres and was designed and built in 1651, and since then been enlarged four times since, the most recent upgrade in the 1950s.

The Monument to the People’s Heroes

This is a ten-story obelisk built to commemorate the matters of the revolutions.  It was built between August 1952 and May 1958.  On the pedestal are reliefs depicting the eight major revolutionary episodes.

The Great Hall of the People

This was opened in September 1959, and covers 171809 square meters.  The Great Hall is the largest auditorium in China and can seat up to 10,000 people.  The State Banquet Hall can seat up to 5,000 diners.

The National Museum of China

This is one of the largest museums in the world and the second most visited museum in the world after the Louvre in Paris.   It was completed in 1959, and sits on 65 hectares, and rises four floors.  It has a permanent collection of over 1,000,000 items.

The Mauseloum of Mao Zedong

This was built shortly after his death, and completed on May 24th, 1977.  The embalmed body of the Chairman is preserved and on display in the center hall.

My own observations
This is huge; one of the largest public squares in the world, and if you’re going to walk it, like we did, make sure you’ve been exercising before you go.  It covers 44 hectares, borders on the Forbidden City, and has a memorial to Chairman Mao in the center of it.  But you cannot go near it, it’s fenced off, and it is guarded.

That’s both the statue and the square as there are random guards marching in random directions all the while watching us to see that we don’t misbehave.No one wants to find out what would happen if you jumped the fence around the statue, but I’m guessing you’ll have a few years to contemplate the stupidity of your actions with some very unhappy government officials.

Around the edges of the square are huge buildings, on one side is the museum 

and on the other is the Chinese equivalent of parliament.

Around the sides are also large gardens

At one end, where the Forbidden City borders on the square, there’s a huge flag pole flying the Chinese flag, and this too like the monument is fenced off, and guarded by members of all of their armed services.  No tanks rolled out during our visit much to our disappointment.  There is no entrance to the Forbidden City from the square

At the other end is the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, which was closed the day we were there, as was the museum. 

There are four sculptural groups installed outside the mausoleum.

Other than that, it’s just another square, albeit probably one of the largest in the world.  It can, we were told, hold about a million people.

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