Deciphering city codes: the Central Axis of Beijing

Tian’an Men (Gate of Heavenly Peace): From imperial gate to new China’s gate

Updated: Jun 7, 2022 Print
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The Tian’an Men [Photo/VCG]

The principal gate of the imperial city (which enclosed and was larger than the Forbidden City) in the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Tian’an Men gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) was constructed in 1417, the 15th year of the Yongle reign, according to the design of the imperial architect Kuai Xiang (1398-1481). It is pierced with five arched doors, the middle one of which was the biggest and lied on the central axis. Only the emperors and a selected few could pass this door in days gone by.

On October 10, 1925, the gate with its tower was opened to the public.

On October 1, 1949, the founding ceremony of the People’s Republic of China was held at Tian’anmen Square. The gate was designed into the motif of the national emblem and has become the symbol of China.

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