Where it's at
It's been called the 'Eye of China' and the focus of
the nation, Tian'anmen Square is one of the largest
public squares in the world is one of Beijing's most visited
Tian'anmen Square covers a total area of 120 acres and was
modelled after Red Square in Moscow. For over one hundred
years, the square was used as the venue for many prominent
ceremonies and demonstrations in China.
What's the History here?
This ground has witnessed Chairman Mao's
famous proclamation on the founding of the People's Republic
from Tian'anmen Gate on October 1 1949, the rallies launching
the Cultural Revolution in 1966 and the day when millions
of mourners packed the square to morn the deaths of Mao
Zedong and Zhou Enlai in 1976.
Tian'anmen Square captured the world's attention in June
1989, when a massive student demonstration for democratic
reform was put to a brutal stop by the Chinese government.
On June 3 and 4, army troops and tanks rolled into Tian'anmen
Square to put a stop to the mounting protests by students,
intellectuals, civil servants and workers. Until today, it
is not known the exact number of those who were killed and
conflicting reports cite numbers from the hundreds to the
thousands. The Tian'anmen Square uprising remains one of the
most memorable but yet least understood tragedies of our time.
Visiting Tian'anmen today
Tian'anmen square is named after its magnificent Gate
of Heavenly Peace, which was the first gate of the Imperial
City. Surrounding the square are attractions such as the Monument
to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People,
the Museum of the Chinese Revolution, the Museum
of Chinese History and the Mao Zedong Mausoleum.
The main attraction for most Chinese visitors to the Mao
Zedong Mausoleum is to view the embalmed Chairman Mao.
In its first 20 years, the mausoleum saw 110 million visitors
and it remains as one of the most popular tourist destinations
in China. Travellers should also note that there are strict
rules that disallow bags and cameras inside the mausoleum.
On each 5th anniversary, the government hosts huge military
parades in the square to highlight their military might. The
largest parade in the country's history was held on October
1, 1999 when China celebrated 50 years of Communist rule.
Visitors to the square at sunrise are treated to a grand
ceremony when the national flag is raised daily. A
similar ceremony is repeated at sunset when the flag is lowered.