Tiananmen Square

The Tiananmen Square 天安门广场 is located in the center of Beijing 北京. It can hold up to 1 million people and is one of the largest city squares in the world. Its current size was achieved after a reconstruction of the city center in the preparations for the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1959. Following the vision of Mao Zedong the square should become the largest in the world. The expansion was accompanied by the project of the Ten Great Buildings 十大建筑 that put the Great Hall of the People and the National Museum of China on the western and eastern sides of the square. In the center of the square is the Monument of the People’s Heroes 人民英雄纪念 and the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall 毛主席纪念堂.

Picture 1: Tiananmen Square

The Tiananmen Square, formerly known as Chengtianmen 承天门,  was built in 1417. When Qing Shunzi 清顺治(1638-1661) rebuild the square in 1651 it was called Tiananmen. At that time Tiananmen was a T-shaped square, where the emperor of the Ming 明 and Qing 清 Dynasties held ceremonies and celebrations, as well as hold their decrees. 1914 it was first made accessible to the citizens of China and it became the modern square one can see today.

Picture 2: Mao Zedong portrait attributed to Zhang Zhenshi and a committee of artists

On 26 August 1928 Sun Yat-sen’s portrait was put up on the Tiananmen Gate and in the years to come a number of other portraits would followed. On 1 October 1949, the People’s Republic of China was established and the founding ceremony was held on this square. In the following years the square was renovated and changed to be more open and bigger, becoming the place of mass rallies of the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), military parades and national celebrations. As a grand total Tiananmen Square is considered the most central place in the historical memory of modern China, included in the official list of red tourism sites in 2005.

List of Pictures

Picture 1: Tiananmen Square (source, the original uploader was Yo Hibino from Lafayette IN, United States [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Picture 2: Mao Zedong portrait attributed to Zhang Zhenshi and a committee of artists (source, user: Calton [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)]


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