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Qianmen

Qianmen

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Qianmen is the colloquial name for Zhengyangmen ' onMouseout='HidePop("34887")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Manchu_language">Manchu
Manchu language
Manchu is a Tungusic endangered language spoken in Northeast China; it used to be the language of the Manchu, though now most Manchus speak Mandarin Chinese and there are fewer than 70 native speakers of Manchu out of a total of nearly 10 million ethnic Manchus...

: Tob šuni duka, meaning "gate of the zenith Sun"), a gate in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

's historic city wall. The gate is situated to the south of Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world...

 and once guarded the southern entry into the Inner City. Although much of Beijing's city walls were demolished, Qianmen remains an important geographical marker of the city. The city's central north-south axis passes through Zhengyangmen's main gate. It was formerly named Lizhengmen , meaning "beautiful portal".

History


Zhengyangmen was first built in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 and once consisted of the gatehouse proper and an archery tower, which were connected by side walls and together with side gates, formed a large barbican
Barbican
A barbican, from medieval Latin barbecana, signifying the "outer fortification of a city or castle," with cognates in the Romance languages A barbican, from medieval Latin barbecana, signifying the "outer fortification of a city or castle," with cognates in the Romance languages A barbican, from...

. The gate guarded the direct entry into the imperial city. The city's first railway station, known as the Qianmen Station, was built just outside the gate. During the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

 of 1900, the gate sustained considerable damage when the Eight-Nation Alliance
Eight-Nation Alliance
The Eight-Nation Alliance was an alliance of Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States whose military forces intervened in China to suppress the anti-foreign Boxers and relieve the siege of the diplomatic legations in Beijing .- Events :The...

 invaded the city. The gate complex was extensively reconstructed in 1914. The Barbican side gates were torn down in 1915.

After the Communist victory in 1949, the Zhengyangmen gatehouse was occupied by the Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 garrison of the People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

. The military vacated the gatehouse in 1980, which has now become a tourist attraction. At 42 metres high, the Zhengyangmen gatehouse was, and remains, the tallest of all gates in Beijing's city wall. Zhengyangmen gatehouse survived the demolition of city walls in the late 1960s during the construction of the Beijing Subway
Beijing Subway
The Beijing Subway is a rapid transit rail network that serves the urban and suburban districts of Beijing municipality. It is owned by the city of Beijing and has two operators, the wholly state owned Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp., which operates 12 lines, and the Beijing MTR...

. While others such as the Deshengmen
Deshengmen
Deshengmen is the name of a city gate that was once part of Beijing's northern city wall. It is one of Beijing's few preserved city gates and now stands as a landmark on the northern 2nd Ring Road....

 in the north and Dongbianmen in the southeast only have their archery towers standing. Xibianmen retains only part of its barbican. Yongdingmen
Yongdingmen
Yongdingmen was the former front gate of the outer section of Beijing's old city wall. Originally built in 1553, it was torn down in the 1950s to make way for the new road system in Beijing. In 2005, the Yongdingmen was reconstructed at the site of the old city gate...

's gatehouse was rebuilt in 2007.

Today, Qianmen Avenue (Dajie) cuts between the Zhengyangmen gatehouse and the archery tower to the south. Line 2
Line 2, Beijing Subway
Line 2 of the Beijing Subway is a rapid transit rail line that runs in a rectangular loop around the city centre. It traces the Ming Dynasty inner city wall, which was demolished and paved over by the 2nd Ring Road and Qianmen Avenue. It is second oldest and busiest of Beijing's subway lines and...

's Qianmen Station
Qianmen Station
Qianmen Station is a station on Line 2 of the Beijing Subway....

 is also located between the two structures inside the space once surrounded by the barbican.

Qianmen remains one of the enduring symbols of old Beijing.

Geographical Significance


The Zhengyangmen is situated on the central north-south axis of Beijing. The main gateway of the gatehouse is aligned with Yongdingmen Gate to the south, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong
Mausoleum of Mao Zedong
The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall , commonly known as the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, or the Mao Mausoleum, is the final resting place of Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China from 1943 and the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China from 1945...

 and the Monument to the People's Heroes
Monument to the People's Heroes
The Monument to the People's Heroes is a ten-story obelisk that was erected as a national monument of the People's Republic of China.The Monument was built in memory of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the revolutionary struggles of the Chinese people during the 19th and 20th centuries...

 in Tiananmen Square, the Tiananmen Gate
Tiananmen
The Tiananmen, Tian'anmen or Gate of Heavenly Peace is a famous monument in Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is widely used as a national symbol. First built during the Ming Dynasty in 1420, Tian'anmen is often referred to as the front entrance to the Forbidden City...

 itself, the Meridian Gate
Meridian Gate
The Meridian Gate is the southern gate of the Forbidden City. It has five arches. The three central arches are close together; the two flanking arches are farther apart from the three central arches...

, and the imperial throne in the Hall of Supreme Harmony
Hall of Supreme Harmony
The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the largest hall within the Forbidden City. It is located at its central axis, behind the Gate of Supreme Harmony. Built above three levels of marble stone base, and surrounded by bronze incense burners, the Hall of Supreme Harmony is one of the largest wooden...

 in the Forbidden City
Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum...

, the city's Drum and Bell Towers and the entrance to the Olympic Green
Olympic Green
The Olympic Green is an Olympic Park in Beijing, China constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Since then, the streets around the park have been used for an exhibition street race of the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2011, after a race at Goldenport Park Circuit in the vicinity.- Beijing...

in the far north.


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