Tiananmen Square marks the historic city center of Beijing. Moreover its size makes it the largest square in the world. It is 800 meters from north to south and 500 meters from east to west making a total of 440.000 square meters. Tiananmen Square was originally built in 1417 during the Ming Dynasty opposite of the Imperial Palace known as the Forbidden City. The aim was to have a big place where crowds could attend the dedication ceremonies of the emperors. Its current urban planning today dates back to the 50s of last century when several buildings were built in the style of the Soviet Union.
When we arrived at Tiananmen, it was easy for us to be impressed by its size. Being a large open space which also is not surrounded by tall buildings increases the feeling of size. In Tiananmen Square walking around a place that is usually crowded with thousands of tourists, the absolute majority being Chinese, we can see various monuments and buildings. The highlight lies in its northern part which is the Imperial Palace or the Forbidden City. Right in the center of the square stands a large monolith, the Monument to the People’s Heroes. To the south is the building with the Mao Zedong Memorial easily recognizable by the long queues of Chinese tourists who go daily to see the embalmed body of the leader of the Chinese Revolution which lies within a glass case.
If you have time on your visit to Tiananmen Square and you dare to stand in line, you should know that a visit to Mao Zedong Memorial is possible from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8 to 11 am. Finally on the west side of the building lies the Chinese People’s Congress.
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