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It is the world's largest urban square used for public gatherings. A half million people can comfortably stand in it.
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The square has been used for many prominent ceremonies, parades and protests. It is also a popular spot for kite flying, family strolling and tourist sightseeing.
In 1949. from the high rostrum of the Gate of Heavenly Peace entrance tower, Mao Zedong proclaimed the China People's Republic to the multitude standing in Tiananmen Square. Many other Chinese leaders have viewed May Day and International Labor Day parades from that perch.
These major buildings rim Tiananmen Square:
Mao Zedong Memorial Hall
The embalmed body of Mao is on public display. Each year millions of Chinese citizens line up to view it.
Great Hall of the People
It houses a 10,000 seat auditorium and a 5,000 seat banquet hall.
China National Museum
Has relics dating back 2.5 million years. Also has exhibits on the Chinese Revolution.
Monument to People's Heroes
Situated near the middle of the square.