China/Beijing/Tiananmen Square Part 24
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Tiananmen Square is a city square in the centre of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen ("Gate of Heavenly Peace") located to its north, separating 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 (440,500 m2 – 880×500 m or 109 acres – 960×550 yd). It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
Outside China, the square is best known for the Tiananmen Square Massacre, an armed suppression of a pro-democracy movement in June 1989.
The Tiananmen ("Gate of Heavenly Peace"), a gate in the wall of the Imperial City, was built in 1415 during the Ming dynasty. In the 17th century, fighting between Li Zicheng's rebel forces and the forces of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty caused heavy damage to, or even destroyed, the gate. Tiananmen Square was designed and built in 1651, and has since been enlarged by four times its original size in the 1950s.
Used as a massive meeting place since its creation, its flatness is contrasted by the 38-metre (125 ft) high Monument to the People's Heroes, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.The square lies between two ancient, massive gates: the Tian'anmen to the north and the Zhengyangmen (better known as Qianmen) to the south. Along the west side of the square is the Great Hall of the People. Along the east side is the National Museum of China (dedicated to Chinese history predating 1919). Chang'an Avenue, which is used for parades, lies between the Tian'anmen and the square. Trees line the east and west edges of the Square, but the square itself is open, with neither trees nor benches. The square is lit with large lamp posts which are fitted with video cameras. It is heavily monitored by uniformed and plain-clothes police officers.
Tiananmen Square has been the site of a number of political events and student protests.
Perhaps the most notable events are protests during the May Fourth Movement in 1919, the proclamation of the People's Republic of China by Mao Zedong on October 1, 1949, the Tiananmen Square protests in 1976 after the death of Zhou Enlai, and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, which resulted in military suppression and the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of civilian protestors. One of the most famous images that appears during these protests was when a man stood in front of a line of moving tanks and refused to move, which was captured on Chang'an Avenue near the square.
Other notable events include annual mass military displays on each anniversary of the 1949 proclamation until 1 October 1959; the 1984 military parade for the 35th anniversary of the People's Republic of China which coincided with the ascendancy of Deng Xiaoping; military displays and parades on the 50th anniversary of the People's Republic of China in 1999; the Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident in 2001; military displays and parades on the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China in 2009, and an incident in 2013 involving a vehicle that plowed into pedestrians.Wikipedia