Tiananmen Square is located in the center of Beijing and is named after the Tiananmen Gate which is located in the north separating it from the Forbidden City. It is the third largest city square in the world and hold great cultural significance with some of the most important events in history having taken place in this very square. Occupying an area of 440,000 square meters it has now become a place for relaxation as people use the square for leisure.
The Tiananmen Gate leading to the Forbidden City was built during the Ming Dynasty in 1415. Towards the end of the Ming Dynasty the gate was damaged due to fighting between Li Zicheng and the early Qing Emperors.
Located in the heart of Beijing, Tiananmen Square has some must visit sites such as: Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People’s Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and the National flag raising ceremony.
A museum was constructed to commemorate Mao Zedong in 1976 and to accommodate the project the square was increased once again to have a capacity of 600,000 people.
To see the guards of honor raise the Flag is a must for the tourists visiting Beijing. You have to get up really early and arrive at the Square before sunrise. Only by doing so can you see the ceremony clearly as there are crowds of people attending the ceremony every day. The reviewing stands flanking Tiananmen Tower on the west and east sides were opened up free on the first day of 2012 to the public to watch the flag rising ceremony. It is now available to group reservations for the opening day on the first day of each month.