Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tiananmen Square

Our second day in Beijing was filled with many quick stops. The rain was a menacing presence all day, but held off until we were safely tucked away in our hotel for the night. First on the list of today's sightseeing is Tiananmen Square.

Tiananmen Square is the fourth-largest city square in the world and has been the stage for many infamous Chinese events. As an American, it is famous to me because of the pro-democracy events in 1989 and the chilling photos that circled the globe. Today it is surrounded by many government buildings and contains no benches or trees. It is monitored on camera and there were many policeman patrolling the area. Our guide briefly (and in a whisper) asked us if we knew what happened in 1989. When we answered yes, she nodded and moved on. We sensed that was a topic not available for conversation.

Monument to the People's Heroes

The Monument of People's Heroes is a ten story national monument dedicated to the martyrs of the revolutionary struggle in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Around the bottom, eight revolutionary movements are displayed in chronological order.
In front of Mao Zedong's Mausoleum

Framing the entrance to Mao Zedong's (also known as "Chairman Mao") Mausoleum are beautiful stone carvings depicting Chinese people. Each individual is shown with a specific occupation that is necessary to the success of the nation. In case you forgot, China is a Communist country.

On the north side of the square we found beautiful flowers and vine-covered pillars. Even in all the pollution, the smell was magnificent.

A neat place with hours of cultural and political events to discuss. Our guide was very knowledgeable on all the buildings and famous events that have happened in the area. We walked the entire square and crossed the street to the Forbidden City.

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