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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.
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.
A national symbol and historical monument, the Tiananmen Gate is the central heartbeat of the bustling capital, Beijing. Meaning the 'Gate of Heavenly Peace', the Tiananmen Gate was first erected in during the reign of the Ming Dynasty in 1420. Serving as the gateway to the Forbidden City, the gate features two regal lion statues meant to ward off evil spirits. Grand ceremonies, rituals and political speeches have taken place here over the centuries and thus it serves as an integral part of the nation.
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.
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.
The Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall is an intriguing attraction. The exhibits housed within the hall offer an insight into the past, present and future of urban development in Beijing. The centerpiece of the exhibition hall is a scale model of the entire Beijing Metropolitan Area, offering visitors a chance to see the entire city in a single go, albeit a miniature version of it. The model takes up an entire floor and can be viewed from above. Other exhibits include scale models of existing and planned structures, multimedia displays, 3-D movies and old photographs.
When you go shopping in the Qian Men commercial area, two majestic towers greet your eyes. They are the Gate of True Sun and Arrow Tower, dubbed as Qian Men (front gate), which stand on the south side of Tiananmen Square. Originally built in 1419, the gate was the south entrance of the Beijing inner city during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911). It is the largest well-preserved city gate in Beijing. The gate has become a museum of local customs, and visitors can see Beijing's old city wall, streets, markets and houses through historical photos and relics.
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.