Favorite Quotes

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  • "I'm so busy.... I don't know if I found a rope... or lost my donkey! - Unknown"
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

China - Tian An Men Square

In chinese "men" means gate. Ironically Tian 'anmen means "Gate of Heavenly Peace" The Square is named after the gate which is on the north end of the square. It was a humid and foggy day when we visited and the buildings are mostly gray with some red on them. There was nothing particularly beautiful about the square its self. But looking at all that space its hard to wrap your arms around exactly how large it is. It covers a hundred acres of pavement. During the Spring Festival in China up to a million people crowd into the Square. It is the largest public square in the world, at the exact geographic center of Beijing and is the center of the Chinese Government.

I was a little surprised that our tour guide did not mention what Americans refer to as the "Tian 'anmen Square Massacre". It happened in 1989, the year I graduated from High School. University Students were protesting in Tian 'anmen Square. Soldiers came in with machine guns and tanks to disperse them. It's unknown how many died. Accounts vary from 10,000 to 241.

Above is the gate on the South end of the Square. It is called Zheng yang men or Qian men. Beijing was once surrounded by a city wall and a moat. This gate is one of two remaining gates of the old city wall. The rest of the wall was destroyed when a subway was laid in Beijing

Monument to the People's Heroes

The kids and I on the square in front of the National Museum

Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. This building occupies the center of the square. Mao united all of China under The People's Republic of China in 1948. His body is embalmed and lies on view in the building. People stand in lines for hours daily to see his body. His picture his hung on Tian an men Gate. The same portrait is replaced once a year so that the color remains fresh.

Tian 'anmen Gate. It seperates the North end of the Square from the Forbidden City.

1 comment:

Mike Thomas said...

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Mike Thomas

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