|Literal meaning||"Gate of Heavenly Peace"|
|Manchu script||ᠠᠪᡴᠠᡳ |
|Möllendorff||abkai elhe obure duka|
The Tiananmen (also Tian'anmen, Tienanmen, T’ien-an Men) ( [tʰjɛ́n.án.mə̌n] ), or the Gate of Heavenly Peace, is a monumental gate in the city center of Beijing, China, located near the city's Central Business District, and widely used as a national symbol. First built during the Ming dynasty in 1420, Tiananmen was the entrance to the Imperial City, within which the Forbidden City was located. Tiananmen is located to the north of Tiananmen Square, and is separated from the plaza by Chang'an Avenue.
The Chinese name of the gate (天安门/天安門), is made up of the Chinese characters for "heaven", "peace" and "gate" respectively, which is why the name is conventionally translated as "Gate of Heavenly Peace". However, this translation is somewhat misleading, since the Chinese name is derived from the much longer phrase "receiving the mandate from heaven, and pacifying the dynasty". (受命于天，安邦治國). The Manchu translation, Abkai elhe obure duka, lies closer to the original meaning of the gate and can be literally translated as the "Gate of Heavenly Peacemaking". The gate had a counterpart in the northern end of the imperial city called the Di'anmen (地安門, Dì'ānmén; Manchu: Na i elhe obure duka), which may be roughly translated as the "Gate of Earthly Peace".
The gate was originally named "Chengtianmen" (traditional Chinese :承天門; simplified Chinese :承天门; pinyin :Chéngtiānmén), or "Gate of Accepting Heavenly Mandate" in the Ming Dynasty. It has subsequently been destroyed and rebuilt several times. The original building was first constructed in 1420, and was based on an eponymous gate of an imperial building in Nanking. The gate was completely burned down by lightning in July 1457. In 1465, the Chenghua Emperor ordered Zigui (自圭), the Minister of Works, to rebuild the gate. Thus, the design was changed from the original paifang form to the gatehouse that is seen today. It suffered another blow in the war at the end of the Ming dynasty, when in 1644 the gate was burnt down by rebels led by Li Zicheng. Following the establishment of the Qing dynasty and the Manchu conquest of China proper, the gate was once again rebuilt, beginning in 1645, and was given its present name upon completion in 1651. The gate was reconstructed again between 1969 and 1970. The gate as it stood was by then 300 years old, and had badly deteriorated, partly due to heavy usage in the 1950s and 1960s. As the gate was a national symbol, Zhou Enlai ordered that the rebuilding was to be kept secret. The whole gate was covered in scaffolding, and the project was officially called a "renovation". The rebuilding aimed to leave the gate's external appearance unchanged while both making it more resistant to earthquakes and installing modern facilities such as an elevator, water supply, and heating system.
The building is 66 meters (217 ft) long, 37 meters (121 ft) wide and 32 meters (105 ft) high. Like other official buildings of the empire, the gate itself has unique imperial roof decorations.
Two lions stand in front of the gate, and two more guard the bridges. In Chinese culture, lions are believed to protect humans from evil spirits.
Two stone columns, called huabiao, each with an animal (hou) on top of it, also stand in front of the gate. Originally, these installations were designed for commoners to address their grievances by either writing or sticking petitions on the columns. However, the examples in front of the Imperial City were purely decorative, and instead connoted the majesty of the imperial government.
The western and eastern walls have giant placards; the left one reads "Long Live the People's Republic of China" ( 中华 人民 共和国 万岁 ; Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó wànsuì), while the right one reads "Long Live the Great Unity of the World's Peoples". The right placard used to read "Long Live the Central People's Government" ( 中央 人民 政府 万岁 ; Zhōngyāng Rénmín Zhèngfǔ wànsuì) for the founding ceremony of the PRC, but after the ceremony it was changed to "Long Live the Great Unity of the World's Peoples" ( 世界 人民 大 团结 万岁 ; Shìjiè rénmín dà tuánjié wànsuì). Both placards were changed to use simplified Chinese instead of traditional Chinese characters in 1964. The phrasing has significant symbolic meaning, as the phrase used for long live, like the Imperial City itself, was traditionally reserved for Emperors of China, but is now available to the common people.
The reviewing stands in the foreground are used on International Workers Day (May Day) and on the National Day (October 1) of the People's Republic of China.
In front of the stands is the Imperial City's moat, still filled with water but now containing decorative illuminated fountains.
In ancient times, the Tiananmen was among the most important gates encountered when entering Beijing's Imperial City along with the Yongdingmen, Qianmen, the Gate of China. Proceeding further inward, the next gate is the 'Upright Gate', identical in design to the Tian'anmen; behind it is the southern entrance of the Forbidden City itself, known as the Meridian Gate.
Because of the gate's position at the front of the Imperial City, and the historical events that have taken place on Tiananmen Square, the gate has great political significance. In 1925, when China was ruled by the Nationalist government, a large portrait of Sun Yat-sen was hung at the gate after his death. In 1945, to celebrate the victory over Japan, Chiang Kai-shek's portrait was hung.
On July 7, 1949, portraits of Zhu De and Mao Zedong were hung to commemorate the Second Sino-Japanese War.Since the founding date of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949, a singular portrait of Mao has been hung on the gate. The portrait is replaced annually before National Day. On only one occasion, on March 9, 1953, it was temporarily replaced by a portrait of Joseph Stalin to commemorate his death.
In 2011, Alexander Pann Han-tang, chairman of the Asia Pacific Taiwan Federation of Industry and Commerce, and a close friend of Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou, proposed that the picture of Sun Yat-sen be displayed at Tiananmen Square instead for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China.However, this proposal was rejected.
The portrait weighs 1.5 metric tons (2 short tons), and is replaced by a spare whenever it is vandalized. In 1989, three dissidents, including Yu Dongyue, attacked the portrait with eggs during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Yu was sent to prison, and was not released until 17 years later in 2006. On May 12, 2007, the portrait of Mao caught fire. A 35-year-old unemployed man from Urumqi was arrested for the incident. About 15% of the portrait was damaged, and had to be repaired later. On April 5, 2010, a protester threw ink in a plastic bottle and hit a wall near the portrait. He was then arrested.[ citation needed ]
Due to its historical significance, Tiananmen is featured on the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China. It has also been featured in the designs of stamps and coins issued by the People's Republic of China.
Tiananmen is open to the public each day of the week from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Line 1 of the Beijing Subway has stops at Tiananmen West and Tiananmen East, on each side of Tiananmen.
City buses 1, 2, 5, 52, 82, 120, 观光1, 观光2, 夜1, 夜2, and 夜17 stop near Tiananmen.
The Forbidden City is a palace complex in central Beijing, China. It houses the Palace Museum, and was the former Chinese imperial palace and state residence of the Emperor of China from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty, between 1420 and 1924. The Forbidden City served as the home of Chinese emperors and their households and was the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government for almost 500 years.
In various East Asian languages, the phrase "ten thousand years" is used to wish long life, and is typically translated as "Long live" in English. The phrase originated in ancient China as an expression used to wish long life to the emperor. Due to the political and cultural influence of China in the area, and in particular of the Chinese language, cognates with similar meanings and usage patterns have appeared in many East Asian languages. In some countries, this phrase is mundanely used when expressing feeling of triumph, typically shouted by crowds.
The National Emblem of the People's Republic of China contains in a red circle a representation of Tiananmen Gate, the entrance gate to the Forbidden City, where Mao declared the foundation of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. Above this representation are the five stars found on the national flag. The largest star represents the Communist Party of China, while the four smaller stars represent the four social classes as defined in Maoism. The emblem is described as being "composed of patterns of the national flag":
...The red color of the flag symbolizes revolution and the yellow color of the stars the golden brilliant rays radiating from the vast red land. The design of four smaller stars surrounding a bigger one signifies the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC)
—China Yearbook 2004
The Gate of Supreme Harmony is the second major gate in the south of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.
Chang'an Avenue, literally "Eternal Peace Street", is a major thoroughfare in Beijing, China.
Zhongzhou Road, literally meaning Central Axis, refers to a stretch of road in Beijing, China.
"I Love Beijing Tiananmen", formerly translated as "I love Peking Tiananmen", is a children's song written during the Cultural Revolution era of China.
The Beijing city fortifications were constructed from the early 1400s to the year 1553. The inner city's wall was 24 kilometres (15 mi) long and 15 metres (49 ft) high, with a thickness of 20 metres (66 ft) at ground level and 12 metres (39 ft) at the top, and had nine gates. The wall stood for nearly 530 years, but in 1965, it was removed to allow for construction of the 2nd Ring Road and Line 2 of the Beijing Subway. Only one part of the original wall still exists, just south of the Beijing railway station in the southeast portion of the city. The Outer city walls had a perimeter of approximately 28 kilometres (17 mi). The entire enclosure of the Inner and Outer cities formed a "凸" shape with a perimeter of nearly 60 kilometres (37 mi).
Qianmen is the colloquial name for Zhengyangmen, a gate in Beijing's historic city wall. The gate is situated to the south of Tiananmen Square and once guarded the southern entry into the Inner City. Although much of Beijing's city walls were demolished, Zhengyangmen remains an important geographical marker of the city. The city's central north-south axis passes through Zhengyangmen's main gate. It was formerly named Lizhengmen, meaning "beautiful portal".
The Gate of China was a historical ceremonial gateway in Beijing, China, located near the center of latter-day Tiananmen Square. It was demolished in 1954. This gate formed the southern gate of the Imperial City during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was situated on the central axis of Beijing, to the north of Zhengyang Gate, and south of Tiananmen. Unlike these two defensive gates, the Gate of China was a purely ceremonial gateway, with no ramparts, but was a brick-stone structure with three gateways.
The Imperial City is a section of the city of Beijing in the Ming and Qing dynasties, with the Forbidden City at its center. It refers to the collection of gardens, shrines, and other service areas between the Forbidden City and the Inner City of ancient Beijing. The Imperial City was surrounded by a wall and accessed through seven gates and it includes historical places such as the Forbidden City, Tiananmen, Zhongnanhai, Beihai Park, Zhongshan Park, Jingshan, Imperial Ancestral Temple, and Xiancantan.
Tian'anmen West Station is a station on Line 1 of the Beijing Subway. It is located near Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts.
Tian'anmen East Station is a station on Line 1 of the Beijing Subway. It provides the most direct access to many Beijing tourist sites, including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the National Museum of China.
Tiananmen Square or Tian'anmen Square is a city square in the city center of Beijing, China, located near the city's Central Business District and named after the eponymous Tiananmen located to its north, which separates it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China in the square on October 1, 1949; the anniversary of this event is still observed there. Tiananmen Square is within the top ten largest city squares in the world. It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
Di'anmen or Bei'anmen was an imperial gate in Beijing, China. The gate was first built in the Yongle period of the Ming dynasty, and served as the main northern gate to the Imperial City. The gate is located north of Jingshan Park and south of the Drum Tower. The gate was demolished in 1954. Efforts to restore it have been under way since 2013.
Du Bin is a Chinese journalist, photographer, poet and documentary film-maker. Self-taught in photography, Du has worked as a contract photographer for The New York Times since 2011, and has also been published in the International Herald Tribune, Time, and the Guardian. He is originally from Tancheng, Shandong, China, and is based in Beijing. Du was detained by Beijing authorities in June 2013 after releasing a feature-length documentary about the Masanjia Labor Camp.
Chen Mingyuan is a Chinese scholar who works in various disciplines such as linguistics, mathematics, informatics, computer sciences, and modern poetry. On April 23, 1989, Chen gave a speech at Peking University, expressing his support for the student movements and criticisms of the government. This speech was considered a trigger for the later escalation of the student movement in 1989.
Wang Guodong was a Chinese painter, known for his giant portraits of Mao Zedong hung on the Tiananmen in Beijing, which are among the world's most recognizable images.
The People's Armed Police Honour Guard Battalion, also known as the PAP Honor Guard is the main honor guard and police unit of the People's Armed Police of China, the country's paramilitary police force.
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