Built in 1651 the square was consistently enlarged up to the 1950s. Then a 1976 renovation made it more rectangular and the fourth largest square in the world. Associated with the Forbidden City since its construction, the square was once the entry point to China’s royal court. Now many of modern day China’s prominent buildings such as the Monument to the People’s Heroes, Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, Mao Mausoleum and the National Grand Theater are in its vicinity.
This is the first destination of almost all visitors to Beijing, who go there to be inspired by the awesome sweep of the square that can accommodate 600,000 people, to visit historical and modern landmarks and to see the national flag raising ceremony early in the morning and the changing of the guard in the evening. During earlier times it was used as a place for public announcements and gatherings to meet the emperor. Today as Chang’an Avenue used for parades bisects the square, the avenue and the reviewing stand where China’s political hierarchy stand, are familiar to many people around the world as it is beamed into their television screens during important and colourful events. Located in the centre of Beijing it is easily accessed via several modes of transport.
Urban spaces open to the public always existed in big and small cities around the world throughout history and as populations increased and cities gained in size these spaces gained in importance. Squares are where people gather to celebrate, commemorate great events and to protest. Tiananmen Square has certainly had its share of such events throughout its history. The square was where political power was demonstrated since its 16th century establishment because of its proximity to the seat of power. However the character of the square has undergone subtle changes over time and it has become a favourite place to fly kites on windy days, relax, people watch, take pictures with the giant portrait of Mao in the background and buy flowers on holidays. It is an impressive sight even at night with its subtle illuminations.
Providing a range of modern day comforts to suit different budgets, the Millennium Group have a spread of Greater China hotels located in many well known places that puts several options and services within the reach of modern day travelers. As a result, these hotels in China are the popular choice of business and leisure clients.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.