mellor-online.co.uk/china march 2001
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Tiananmen Gate Beijing Beijing - March 2001

If Beijing is the centre of power of China, then geographically and politically Tiananmen is the centre of Beijing.

Tiananmen Square is a huge flat area, with Great Hall of the People On its west side, and museums on the east. Tiananmen Gate is situated on the centre of the north side of Tiananmen Square and links to the southern gate of the Forbidden City. It is from this gate that Mao Zedong proclaimed the Peoples Republic in 1949.

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Monument To The Peoples Heroes Tiananmen Beijing The Monument to the Peoples Heroes is situated on the south side of Tiananmen Square. This is one of a pair of obelisks which act as a gateway to the Mao Zedong Mausoleum where the preserved body of Mao is exhibited.

Apparently he was away being restored during our visit.

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 Forbidden City Beijing 4
The Forbidden City was the powerhouse of the Ming & Qing Emperors who ruled China from within its walls, and is the largest collection of Ming architecture in China.

It is a self contained city with many ceremonial temples, and hundreds of other buildings. There is a central path that runs all the way from north to south on which only the Emperor could walk.

Any one who has seen the film 'The Last Emperor' will recognize this building.

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Forbidden City Beijing 9 There are dozens of temples, each has its own ceremonial use, and all are lavishly decorated with stone carvings and ornate paintwork.

It must have taken an enormous amount of money to build, and a workforce of around a million labourers.

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Forbidden City Beijing 11
In some of the quieter corners of the City you can get away from the hordes of tourists who gather in groups to peer into each throne room or temple.
To view full size click on the picture above