Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the centre of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the monuments to the heroes of the revolution, the great hall of people, the National Museum of China, and the Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall.
Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic in the square on Oct. 1, 1949, an anniversary still observed there. Tiananmen Square is within the top five largest city squares in the world. It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
Outside China, the square is best known in recent memory as the focal point of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, a pro-democracy movement which ended on 4 June 1989 with the declaration of martial law in Beijing by the government and the shooting of several hundred, or possibly thousands, of civilians by soldiers.
The Tiananmen Gate, a gate in the wall of the Imperial City, was built in 1415 during the Ming Dynasty. Towards the demise of the Ming Dynasty, heavy fighting between Li Zicheng and the early Qing emperors damaged (or perhaps destroyed) the gate. The Tiananmen square was designed and built in 1651, and has since enlarged four times its original size in the 1950s.
Near the centre of today's square, stood the "Great Ming Gate", the southern gate to the Imperial City, renamed "Great Qing Gate" during the Qing Dynasty, and "Gate of China" during the Republic of China era.