A visit to Beijing would not be complete without visiting the world-famous and historic Tiananmen Square, or “Gate of Heavenly Peace”. Located in the heart of Beijing, Tiananmen Square was once the main gate to the Imperial Palace during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Today, it is home to the Monument to the People’s Heroes, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, National Museum of China, and the Great Hall of the People. As the largest square in the world, it covers a total area of 440 square meters and can hold up to one million people at a time. Originally built in 1417, it was destroyed by a fire and then rebuilt to be four times its original size in 1651. Each day, thousands of visitors flock to the square to witness a piece of Chinese history and watch the raising of the flag.
In the center of the square stands the Monument to the People's Heroes, a memorial to martyrs who have devoted their lives to the Chinese people. The Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, located to the south, commemorates the first chairman of the People’s Republic of China and holds his body in the heart of the mausoleum. The National Museum of China is found at the east of the square and was created in 2003 as a combination of the Chinese History Museum and Chinese Revolutionary Museum. Facing this museum is the Great Hall of the People, which is home to the National People’s Congress.