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Tiananmen Tower

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Located at the north of the Tiananmen Square, Tiananmen Tower (the Gate of Heavenly Peace) is the division point of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chongwen and Xuanwu Districts in Beijing City. It faces the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Chairman Mao's Mausoleum, the Great Hall of the People, and China National Museum on the square. It is one of the most splendid gate towers in ancient China, and earns its fame for its excellent architecture art and special political position.

Originally named Cheng Tian Men (Gate of Heavenly Succession), Tiananmen Tower was initially built in 1417, in the 15th year of Emperor Yongle's reign in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). The tower has been damaged and reconstructed many times. In 1651, during the 8th year of his reign, Emperor Shun Zhi of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), ordered to reconstruct it on a grand scale and renamed it Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace). The present Tiananmen Tower retains the basic style of Shun Zhi's days.

Tiananmen Tower is 34.7 m (113.8 feet) high, comprising the base and the superstructure upon it. The base or platform is vermilion, which is also the major color of the whole tower. Capped with yellow tiles, the two-storey building on the platform is nine rooms long from the east to the west and five rooms wide from the south to the north. It was so built, for according to the Book of Changes, the number nine and five, are believed to be the symbolic of the imperial throne. There are five gates through the rostrum, and the central one is the biggest, which was for exclusive use by the emperors in ancient times. The stream in front of Tiananmen Tower is called Jinshui River (Golden Water River), and the seven parallel bridges on it are Jinshui Bridges. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the middle bridge was used only by the emperors, called Yulu Bridge (Imperial Bridge). The two bridges flanking it on either side were only for the members of the royal family, thus were called Wanggong Bridges (Royal Bridges). The farther two bridges on each sides were for the officials ranking above the third order and were called Pinji Bridges (Ministerial Bridges). The farthest two were for the officials ranking below the third order and the soldiers, so they were named Gongsheng Bridges (Common Bridges).

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, most grand ceremonies were held on Tiananmen Tower, such as emperor's enthroning, wedding, and expedition ceremonies, and interviews of new officials by the emperor. It was a forbidden zone for common people.

More recently, in 1949, it was here that Chairman Mao declared the founding of the People's Republic of China and raised the first Chinese National Flag. In November 1987, Tiananmen Tower was officially opened to the public. From then on, common people could go up to the tower and overlook the magnificent view of Tiananmen Square. 

 Ticket for Tower Acsending: CNY 15

 Opening Hours: 08:30 - 17:00 

A. Bus Routes:  Take Bus No. 1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 20, 22, 37, 52 or 728 and get off at the Tiananmendong (Tiananmen East); Take Bus No. 9, 17, 22, 44, 48, 59, 66, 67, 69, 71, 120, 673, 690, 692, 729, 808, 901, Te 2, Te 4 or BRT1 and get off at the Qianmen
B. Subway: Take Subway Line 1 and get off at Tiananmendong (Tiananmen East); Take Subway Line 2 and get off at Qianmen.

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