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The Qianmen, Beijing

The Qianmen is the common name for the gateway known formally as Zhengyangmen. It is a gate in Beijing, China. It stands at the south end of the Tiananmen Square precinct, and was formerly the front gate of the Inner City, a part of the ancient city of Beijing.The Qianmen is the common name for the gateway known formally as Zhengyangmen. Because of its grandeur and unique design, the Qianmen was long seen as the one of the symbols of old Beijing.

The Qianmen tower first built in 1419, the gateway consisted of a gatehouse proper and an archery tower, which forms a large barbican. Today the archery tower and the gatehouse survive and it was extensively reconstructed in 1914 and incorporated modern design elements. At 42 metres high, the gatehouse was, and is the tallest among all of the gates of Beijing.

After the Communist victory in 1949, the gate complex was occupied by the Beijing garrison of the People's Liberation Army. The military vacated the gate in 1980.

Behind the Qianmen once stood the Gate of China; to the northern end of the Tiananmen Square lies the famous Tiananmen Gate, and the Meridian Gate, which is the front entrance to the Forbidden City. Nearby is the Qianmen hutong, named after the gatehouse.

Edited by Athena Lee
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