Tiananmen, the front gate of the Forbidden City, is considered the center of Beijing. With its raised viewing balcony overloo... More
Tiananmen, the front gate of the Forbidden City, is considered the center of Beijing. With its raised viewing balcony overlooking Tiananmen Square, it was here on October 1, 1949 that Chairman Mao declared victory in China's long and brutal civil war. The gate's importance dates further back than the communist revolution. Built in 1417, the 34-meter (110-foot) high gate was the site of grand ceremonies and Confucian rituals during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The gate gets an occassional face lift, the last being about 20 years ago. Within the gate visitors will find bright colored kiosks and stand where they can dress as the emperor or emperess and have a photo taken. Entrance into the Forbidden City can also be accessed inside the gate.
It's right between the Forbidden city and Tiananmen square, so you can't miss going there. Not really much to do except some great crowd watching. Oh yeah and you can take the traditional picture of someone standing below the HUGE picture of Mao.