The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
Saint Augustine

Tiananmen Square
Beijing, China

At 122 acres, Tiananmen Square is one of the largest public squares in the world. It has great cultural significance to the Chinese people because it has been and continues to be the site of several important cultural events in the country’s history. The square can accommodate more than a half million people.Tiananmen Square

It was here in 1949 Mao Zedong that proclaimed the founding of the People Republic of China at the Gate of Heavenly Peace (also called the Meridian Gate) at the entrance to the Forbidden City on the north side of the square. Today a huge portrait of the Chairman hangs above the entrance.

On the east side of the square is the Great Hall of the People, one of the largest congressional buildings in the world. It has a 10,000 seat auditorium, a 5,000 seat banquet hall and a reception hall for each of the thirty-four provinces, government’s autonomous regions and municipalities. The offices of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples’ Congress of China are also in the Great Hall.

At the center of the square is the Monument to the People. The obelisk design commemorates the thousands of martyrs who died for the revolutionary cause of the Chinese people.

On the north side is the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao who died in 1976. The Chairman’s embalmed remains lie in display in a crystal coffin. Thousands of Chinese regularly queque up to pay their respects to their beloved leader.

West of the mausoleum entrance is a group of clay statues that recognize the great achievements of the Chinese people since the PRC was founded in 1949. Just across from that statuary group is another one that recognize the period of the New Democratic Revolution (1919-1949).

On the west side of square is the China National Museum which houses a 1,050,000 item historic permanent exhibit covering 1.7 million years up to 1919.

I arrived in Beijing on the October 2nd. The first day of October, designated National Day, kicks off a two week celebration recognized throughout mainland China. Most Chinese are granted time off from work to travel and engage in a variety of government sponsored festivities. Many of Beijing's public spaces such as Tiananmen Square are decorated with an abundance of floral displays.

Tiananmen Square Photo Gallery
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