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Tiananmen

Updated:2008-06-06 10:19 | Source:

  Tiananmen is one of the symbols of China. It

  has been listed by UNESCO among world heritage’. It

  is the main gate of the Imperial Palace. It is a key

  historic site under national protection, and a

  national patriotic education base.

  The Tiananmen Square lies at the cross-section

  between the central axis of Beijing and the Chang’

  an Street. Tiananmen is 34.7 meters tall. When it

  was first built in the 15th year of Yongle (1417),

  it was called Chengtian Gate. It was twice destroyed

  in the Ming Dynasty, once by lightening, once by

  war. In 1651, or the 8th year of Emperor Shunzhi’s

  reign in the Qing Dynasty, the Emperor named Fulin

  had it rebuilt on a large scale and changed its name

  to Tiananmen. Imposing and magnificent, it stands

  out among ancient city gates in China.

  Tiananmen is composed of two parts¨Ca 13-meter-high

  platform and a tower that sits on it. The platform

  has five arched gates in it. In the middle is the

  biggest one, which, during the Ming Dynasty and Qing

  Dynasties, was reserved for the emperor. The four

  smaller gates on its sides were for ministers, who

  would go through them in a rank-based order. Before

  Tiananmen is the Gold River, which is spanned by

  sevem exquisitely adorned bridges of white marble.

  The one in the middle, wider than the others, was

  reserved for the emperor. In front of and behind the

  gate in the middle are two marble columns. The top

  of each is adorned with a sculpture called roaring

  to the sky’, below which is a horizontal piece of

  stone adorned with cloud patterns. The rest of the

  column is adorned with carved cloud-and-dragon

  patterns. The central gate is flanked by a pair of

  awe-inspiring, lifelike stone lions. On both sides

  of them are red reviewing stands. Before the Gold

  River Bridge is a beautiful flowerbed; to its south

  is the Chang’an Avenue, known as the hundred-li

  street. To the south of the street is the world-

  famous Tiananmen Square.

  The gate tower of Tiananmen has double-eave roofs

  covered with golden glazed tiles. Both ends of the

  main roof ridge are adorned with chiwen, and the hip

  is adorned with nine beast sculptures. It is nine

  bays wide and five bays deep, which is symbolic of

  the emperor’s supreme power (called the nine-five

  supremeness’ according to the Book of Changes). The

  roof is supported by 60 colossal pillars. The floor

  is paved with square tiles. The tower is encircled

  by white marble guardrails.

  Tiananmen was the place for important ceremonies

  during the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty, when

  imperial edicts were issued for coronation of

  emperors or the conferring of the title of empress.

  Tiananmen is not only symbolic of China, but it is

  also inextricably linked with the destiny of the

  nation, for it has witnessed many important events

  in China’s modern history. In 1900, when attacking

  Beijing, the Eight Power Allied Force poured so many

  canon balls and bullets on it that three canon balls

  with English letters on them were taken out of one

  of the west beams when the tower was renovated in

  1952. In 1911, the feudal system that had lasted

  several thousand years was declared dead here. In

  1919, Tiananmen saw the outbreak of the greatly

  influential May 4th Movement, which marked the

  beginning of the New Democracy Movement in China. On

  March 18, 1926, reactionary warlords ordered their

  soldiers to massacre protesting students and

  citizens. In 1935, it saw the outbreak of the Dec. 9

  Movement, which escalated China’s war against

  Japanese invaders. On Oct. 1 1949, Mao Zedong, the

  great leader of the Chinese nation, declared the

  founding of the People’s Republic of China on the

  tower, which turned a new page in China’s history.

  Since then, Tiananmen has become the symbol of New

  China, and in the front of it has been hung a large

  portrait of Chairman Mao.

  Tiananmen Square was formerly a courtyard in front

  of the main gate to the Forbidden City. At that time

  it measured about 110,000 square meters. It was

  enclosed by walls and galleries, and had three gates

  respectively on its east, west, and south sides.

  Since the fall of the feudal system, and especially

  since the foundation of the People’s Republic, it

  has been renovated and expanded many times. Now the

  square, at 880 meters long and 500 meters wide,

  measuring 440,000 square meters. To its east is the

  National Museum; to its west, the Great Hall of the

  People. In the middle of it stands the Monument to

  People’s Heroes, to the south of which is Chairman

  Mao’s Memorial Hall. The national flag ceremony

  held in the square every day stirs strong patriotic

  feelings in the bosom of everyone who loves New

  China. Now, in this new age of reform and opening,

  the age-old Tiananmen, as a witness of the past and

  present of China’s civilization, with its unrivaled

  political significance, attracts tourists from all

  over the world.

  (Source:

  http://www.ebeijing.gov.cn/Tour/ScenicSpots/)

Editor : Zhu Jia

Opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics