- Location: Central Beijing, China
- Significance: Public Square
- Attraction Type: City Square, Monuments, Museums, History, Towers
- How to Reach: A number of buses reach Tiananmen Square from all parts of Beijing, including route numbers 1,2, 5, 8, 10, 20, 22, 37, 52, 82, 120, 126, 203, 210, 728 and 802. You can also avail the Subway Line 1, and the Sightseeing Bus No. 1.
- Nearest Airport: Beijing International Airport
The place that was once the exclusive reserve for monarchial and feudal declaration later became one of the most common venues of public protest against all forms of state oppression. Tiananmen Square in Beijing is intrinsically linked to the development of Chinese history, particularly in the modern era. Its very name invokes people’s anger, protest and rightful opposition to all forms of state oppression. Although the events of 1976 and 1989 are largely responsible for giving the square its present, almost iconic, status; yet it was connected integrally to the Chinese way of life for more than five hundred years.
History of Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square gets its name from the Tianan Gate that was built in the 15th century. The square itself, on a much smaller scale was built in the 17th century. The purpose was to declare to the people who would be the new emperor and empress. Entry to the tower was restricted to members of the royalty, and nobody was granted entry across the gate except for government purposes. In the twentieth century, the square was extended to about four times its original size, laid in concrete and turned over for public use. Now, one of the major purposes of Tiananmen Square is the holding of political meetings and rallies, as well as any civil congregation of a major scale.
Things to See in Tiananmen Square
There are a number of beautiful buildings around the actual Tiananmen Square that you must pay a visit to when you reach Tiananmen Square. Some of the main buildings around the square are:
Tiananmen Tower: This is located towards the North of the Square, and was built in 1417 during the Ming dynasty rule in China. It is at the front door of the Forbidden City. Once it was the exclusive foray of the royalty and the aristocracy, but now can be accessed by the public, both local and visitors.
Monument to the People’s Heroes: This massive monument, with eight monumental relief sculptures represents the development of Chinese modern history. The monument is enclosed by two rows of exquisite white marble railings. The Great Hall of the People: This simple yet impressive building, erected in 1959, is where the meetings of the China National People’s Party are held. It is a popular place for all kinds of major political and diplomatic activities. The Central Hall can accommodate up to 10,000 people, and the Banqueting Hall can host up to 5000 guests. The interiors are traditionally made and highly impressive.
Mao Ze Dong Memorial Hall: This building, to the South of the Square, holds the mortal remains of Chairman Mao. Flowers, leaves and grasses of exquisite variety are brought in remembrance to the great national hero, and are spread around the hall.
China National Museum: Located to the east of the square, this is another wonderful destination you cannot afford to miss. This came into existence in 2003, and contains specimens that represent Chinese history as well as of the Chinese Revolution. China’s history is one of the oldest in the world, and there is no better place to understand its development than the China National Museum. You can also witness the solemn flag-raising ceremony during your visit to the Square. The best way to see this ceremony is to arrive at the Square well before sunrise, as it gets crowded as the day progresses.
Accommodation in Beijing
Tiananmen Square is centrally located in Beijing, and you can access it easily from all parts of the city. There are numerous hotels in Beijing catering to all kinds of budget requirements. While Ai Hua Hotel, Ascott, Asia Pacific Garden Hotel and Avic Hotel are some of the high-end luxury hotels in the city, you can opt for comparatively economical options too, like Cheng Hong Hotel, Da Fang Hotel and Dong Chang Hotel.