Tian'anmen Square, Beijing [Photo by Zou Weilin)]
Located at the center of Beijing City is Tiananmen Square, where you can visit Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and see the national flag raising ceremony. Thousands of people come to the Square every day.
With total area of 440,000 square meters (880-m-long and 500-m-wide), the Tian'anmen Square, located in the center of Beijing, is the largest of its kind. Over a hundred years, many ceremonies and demonstrations have been held here. The spacious square was originally meant to demonstrate majestic imperial power, walled in on the eastern, western and southern sides, shutting out common people. It is an ideal place for people to observe celebratory occasions or fly kites.
Tian'anmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) was built in the 15th century and restored in the 17th century. From imperial days, the yellow glaze-tiled double-eave tower functioned as a rostrum for proclaiming pronouncements to assembled masses. On October 1, 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the new China here. The tower has five doors and in front of it are seven bridges spanning a stream. Historically, only the emperor could use the central door and bridge. The gate leads to an imperial city -- the Forbidden City.
Five Star Red Flag -- the Chinese national flag, flies high in the sky above the Square. To see the guard of honor raise the Flag is a must for a tourist visiting Beijing. You must wake up early and arrive at the Square before sunrise. Many people attend the ceremony every day.
The present Tiananmen Square has become a relaxing place for people to fly kites and walk. On holidays, the whole square is covered with fresh flowers.