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The Working People's Cultural Palace is one of the first-class public parks in Beijing. It was once an ancestral temple for emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It covers a total area of 197,000 square meters (2,120,490.35 square feet) and is encircled by three layers of red wall. In the courtyard lie several ancient cypresses, there are also the seven white marble bridges called Jade-studded Belt Bridges which is placed behind the Liuili Gate. The three large halls behind the Halberd Gate are the major part of the complex. The first one is called the Hall of Worshiping Ancestors; the second, Bedroom Hall; and the third, Tiaomiao Temple. A lot of activities like exhibitions painting lessons, dancing lessons are conducted here.
Tiananmen Square is one of the largest public squares in the world. The square is surrounded by a cluster of massive buildings including Tiananmen Gate, The Forbidden City, the Great Hall of the People, The Monument of the People's Heroes and the Mao Ze Dong Mausoleum. The original square was built in 1651, though it has undergone extensive expansion since then. The square has figured in many historical events; Mao Zedong announced the founding of the People's Republic there in 1949, and in 1989 the area was the site of the famous Tiananmen Square Protests, a pro-democracy movement that ended in the deaths of many civilians. Today, visitors can walk through the square and learn more about its turbulent history. Â
Located at the Western edge of Tiananmen Square, The Great Hall of the People functions as China's parliament building and has halls representing each province of China, all decorated according to the local style. It was built in 1959 as part of the Ten Great Constructions honoring the 10th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. The main hall, called The Great Auditorium, can seat 10,000 representatives. Tours of the various halls are given when meetings are not in session but guided tours are only in Chinese. Public tours are only possible when meetings are not in session.
Helping to ease the flow of visitors to the Forbidden City, the Meridian Gate acts as its primary entrance. Visitors travel from the south to north as the explore this vast complex. This particular gate features five distinct arches and is the largest structure in the entire complex towering 37 meters (125 feet) into the air. Historically, the gate offered five different doors, one for the emperor, three for the top scholars of the era and one for ministers and officials. The gate and entire complex was believed to be built along the Meridian, because the emperor's believed themselves to be the sons of the universe and therefore should live at the center of it.
This massive mausoleum and memorial hall was built at Tiananmen Square, the center of Beijing (and metaphorically of the whole of China), shortly after Mao Zedong's death in 1976. For nearly 30 years Mao Zedong was the center of the Chinese universe, and he is certainly still revered today by many. The lines that file into the building and pass his glass sarcophagus are long but fast-moving, and visitors often get the feeling that they are being whisked away before they can get a good look at the Great Helmsman, fueling rumors that what is on display is a wax impersonation.
The Hall of Central Harmony is one of the three halls that form a part of the Outer Court of the Forbidden City. Although the hall was originally constructed in 1420, repeated damage by fire meant that it had to be rebuilt several times. The existing hall dates back to 1627, and is a beautiful example of ancient, imperial architecture. The square hall is centered around a throne, flanked by two majestic dragons and incense bowls that were used to warm the space. The Hall of Central Harmony was the exclusive domain of the emperor and it is where he would retire to rest and prepare for various ceremonies. The hall remains beautifully preserved and is a part of the Palace Museum.
One of Beijing's greatest gems, the Forbidden City is a national treasure. Constructed in 1420, this must-see historical attraction was once the imperial residence for both the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is called the forbidden city because no one was allowed to enter or leave the city without the emperor's permission. The sprawling complex contains over 70 structures with more than 9000 rooms containing priceless artifacts and relics. The palace was turned into a museum during the early 20th Century and offers great insight into China's past. While throngs of visitors come through each day, the royal gardens area is surprisingly calm and quiet. Enter this giant complex through the impressive Tiananmen Gate.
Located in the heart of Beijing, Legation Quarter is housed in a former American embassy. This historic quadrangle now, has two buildings which house fine dining restaurants like Maison Boulud and Ristorante Sadler, the Beijing Center for the Arts, a theater, a nightclub and several luxury retail stores. Legation Quarter adds a modern touch to the historic context of the place which is attached to the Qing Dynasty. This premier lifestyle complex is sure to give you a unique upscale experience.