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Tiananmen Square & Grand View Garden

Tiananmen Square

At each corner of the Tiananmen Tower is a marble pillar engraved with flying dragons and clouds. The structure is called Huabiao in Chinese and is a symbol of supremacy built in front of Chinese architecture. On the top of each column perches a scared animal greeting the emperors' return to the city.

Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China 

In the middle of the square is the 15-meter (50 feet) high Monument to the People's Heroes built in 1952 on which is engraved the inscription of 'The People's Heroes are Immortal' written by Chairman Mao. On the four sides of the foundation there are eight vivid relief sculptures depicting the historical revolutionary events that have occurred in China in the past 100 years.

To the south of the Monument is the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao in which the body of the great man lies in a crystal coffin. A movie hall on the second floor presents some historical documentaries and records for tourists who want to learn more about the great man.

To the west of the square is People's Great Hall and its counterpart building on the east side houses the Chinese History and Revolutionary Museum. It is a must for travelers who are interested in China's recent history.

Thousands of Chinese people come to the square everyday to watch the flag-raising ceremony in the morning and show respect to the country.

Tiananmen Tower, Beijing

Located at the center of Beijing City is the heart of the country - Tiananmen Square. It is the largest of its kind in the world, covering an area of over 400,000 square meters (nearly 100 acres).

Tiananmen (Heaven Peace Gate), originally the front of Forbidden City, the well-known imperial palaces from the Ming and Qing dynasties, is situated at the north of the square. The design of the tower has been used as a symbol on the national emblem.

The three-storied traditional Chinese tower was originally built in 1420 in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and later rebuilt in 1651 in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). It was the facade of the imperial palaces, which was only used as the ceremonial entrance to the imperial city for emperors during the important imperial celebrations and events. On October 1st, 1949, Chairman Mao declared the establishment of the People's Republic of China on this tower and raised the first national flag of the county. Nowadays, it has a huge portrait of the great Chairman hung over the middle gate.

Grand View Garden

Unlike many other historical sites in the city, this attraction is a recent theme park built in 1984. This garden architecture is elaborately designed to resemble the Grand View Garden described in the  best known Chinese classical novel - the Dream of the Red Chamber, written by Cao Xueqin in 18th-century.

The novel depicts the vicissitude of a feudal noble family in China's history and the romantic story of two young people. It is reputed to be one of the four classical Chinese novels. The Grand View Garden is where the stories happened. Many historical researchers and architectural experts participated in the construction of the garden and it is considered a representative work of classical Chinese garden architecture.

With an area of 12.5 hectares, the garden has more than forty sightseeing spots and an art museum that houses an exhibition of documents, pictures, furniture and other art wares related to the novel. The garden is open from 8:30 to 16:30.

Admission Fee: CNY 40; CNY 70 for night activities
Bus Route: 59, 819, 717, 122, 721, 806, 939, 816