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Great Hall of the People

人民大会堂

The magnificent Great Hall of the People is a modern structure in China. It has absorbed both Chinese and foreign architectural influences, and it also presents a distinct national style. Since its inception, the Great Hall has always been the important venue for the Party and the state affairs and diplomatic activities. It is here that many earth-shaking historical events, which have changed the development course of China, have taken place. As the country's political, economic, cultural and diplomatic center and the symbol of the People’s Republic, it symbolizes the pride and dignity of the Chinese people of all nationalities. The Hall has, too, witnessed China's vicissitudes over the past years. For all of these reasons, the Great Hall of the People has commanded respect, admiration and yearning of the Chinese people and naturally become a place that attracts worldwide attention.

The Great Hall of the People is situated on the west of Tiananmen Square, opposite the Museum of Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History on the east. On the north and the south are located Tiananmen and Zhengyang Gate and thus Tiananmen Square, the world's largest open square, is harmoniously surrounded by all these buildings.

The decision for building the Great Hall of the People was made by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in August 1958. Premier Zhou Enlai emphasized the design principle 'The people are the masters of the country'. While he was inspecting the construction site, President Mao Zedong set a high value on the enthusiasm displayed by the builders and gave the name of "The Great Hall of the People'' to this structure. Deng Xiaoping wrote the inscription for the name of this grand building. The designing and planning involved the most outstanding architects of the country. More than 30,000 people took part in the construction of the Great Hall in groups, among whom there were 7,000 first-rate technicians and workers from 20 provinces. This magnificent structure was completed within a period of ten months from November 1958 to September 1959.

The Great Hall of the People is built round a square, very much in the solid ‘revolutionary-heroic’ mould. It is worth going inside where, even if the decor is not to everyone’s taste, the sheer scale of the rooms is breathtaking. From the huge reception room, the Wanren Dalitang (Ten-thousand People Assembly Hall) leads off to the west, the banquet wing to the north, and the offices of the standing committees of the national congress to the south. The Assembly Hall is over 3,000square meters (3,600 square yards), containing more than 9,700 scars on three tiers, all installed with simultaneous interpretation equipment. Overhead, the vaulted ceiling is illuminated by 500 recessed lights radiating outwards from a gleaming red star. Some 500 guests can sit down to dinner in the banquet room, which is half the size of a football field. Gilded columns and brilliant lighting combine to produce a sumptuous if overwhelming effect. In addition to the formal public rooms, the Great Hall has 32 separate reception rooms, named after each province, provincial-level city and autonomous region of China (including one for Taiwan).

Tips:
1. Tickets can be bought with valid certificates, and take turns to get into the Great Hall from the East Gate.
2. Bags should be stored in the Left Luggage Room before entering the Great Hall. Guns, ammunition and dangerous goods are strictly prohibited.
3. It is closed to the public when there are national conferences or other big political activities.

Admission Fee: CNY 30 (adult); CNY 15 (student)
Opening Hours: 09:00 to 14:00 (Jan. Feb. Mar. Dec.); 08:15 to 15:00 (Apr. May. Jun.); 07:30 to 16:00 (Jul. Aug.); 08:30 to 15:00 (Spe. Oct. Nov.)
Subway: Subway Line 1: get off at Tiananmen West Station, and you'll find the Great Hall of the People on the west of the Tianmenmen Square.
Subway Line 2: get off at Qianmen Station and walk north.
Bus Route: Take bus no.1, 5, 10, 22, 37, 52, 205, 728 or 802 and get off at Tiananmen West.
Take bus no.1, 2, 10, 20, 37, 52, 59, 82, 120, 126, 203, 205, 210, 728 or 802 and get off at Tiananmen East.
Take bus no.2, 5, 8, 20, 22, 120, 126, 203, or 210 and get off at Tiananmen Square East.
Take bus no.2, 5, 20, 120, 126 or 210 and get off at Tiananmen Square West.

        Beijing Attractions 

        Tian'anmen Square and Its Surrounding

           Gate of Heavenly Peace
                Monument to People's Heroes
                Chairman Mao Memorial Hall 
               National Museum of China
                Tiananmen Underground Passage &  Sculptures and Arrow Gate