Tiananmen Square, Beijing
Made infamous during the protests of 1989, Tiananmen Square is at the heart of Beijing. This enormous city square ranks as the third largest public square in the world and is connected to many of the cities most interesting sights. To the north of the square you can find the famous red gate to the Forbidden City, to the east lies the National Museum of China, the south holds a lesser known gate called Qianmen, and to the west is the Great Hall of the People. All of these attractions combined with the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong in the center make for a great start to your time in Beijing.
Tiananmen Square History
Tiananmen Square was built in 1651, and went through several additions until reaching its current size in 1950s. Other than the large Tiananmen Gate that leads to the Forbidden City, predates the public square by nearly 200 years, majority of the standing buildings and statues found at the square were built in the late 1950s and 70s. The square is well known for the holding several famous protests including the student protest in 1989 that lead to a fairly large cover up.
Tiananmen Square Attractions
Tiananmen Square holds a lot of great attractions for you to take in and is the perfect introduction to the city. First you will undoubtedly see the enormous red gate of Tiananmen after getting out of the subway station. The gate holds a gigantic picture of Chairman Mao as well as some well maintained bushes and fountains. The red is a perfect contrast to the stone square and is best photographed a little ways into Tiananmen Square.
Once inside the square you will see the Great Hall of the People as well as the National Museum of China. These are impressive looking buildings that are well worth taking photos of, but you will not be spending your time in them today. Move on to the center of the square where you will find a towering pillar that stands as a monument to the “People’s Heroes.”
Near the Monument to the People’s Heroes is the impressive Mausoleum of Chairman Mao. In front of the Mausoleum is an impressive statue of devoted to the people of the revolution, but inside you can find a massive statue of the late Chairman as well as his embalmed body. Some claim that it is simply a wax statue, but regardless it is a sight to see. Many pay their respect by laying flowers at the foot of the statue. The flowers can be purchased at the northern entrance. One important thing to note is that you are not allowed to take photos of the body. Your camera may end up being taken if a guard sees you taking photos.
Tiananmen Square Photos