With a total area of 440,000 square meters, Tiananmen
Square is the largest square in the center of Beijing.
For over a hundred years, many ceremony and demonstrations
have been held here. The grandeur of Tiananmen Gate (Heavenly
Peace Gate) is a national symbol, with the Great Hall
of the People on the western side and the Museum of the
Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History to
its east and west. The Monument to the People's Heroes
- the 36 meters obelisk, made of Qingdao granite, dominates
the center of the square. The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall
and the Qianmen gate, sit in the south.
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-eaves tower
functioned as a rostrum for proclamations to the assembled
masses.The tower has five doors and in front of it are
seven bridges spanning a stream.On the top of the central
door is a gigantic portrait of Chairman Mao with slogans
on each side stating 'Long Live the People's Republic
of China' and 'Long Live the Unity of the Peoples of the
Right beside a pair of marble lions in front of the Tian'anmen
Gate stand obelisk of marble engraved with entwisting
dragons and clouds - an ornamental architecture called
Huabiao. Its history can be traced back to the Yao and
Shun, legendary kings in remote antiquity.
Behind the Monument to the People's Heroes is the hall
where the embalmed body of Chairman Mao is kept and many
Chinese show deep respect when confronted with the physical
presence of Mao.