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Home >> Beijing Travel Attractions >> Summer Palace - Beijing travel guide

Qian Men Gate

Qian Men Gate

At the rear of the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao, on the southern edge of Tian An Men Square, one will find Qian Men Gate. Originally the Imperial City was protected by nine gates of which Qian Men is one of the few remaining Constructed in the fifteenth century, this Gate was recently restored.

As a protective measure the nine original gates were designed with two doors or gates and space in between (some-times referred to as double gates). If a hostile force managed to get through the outer or first door, a small enclosure or courtyard would still have to be crossed to get to the inner or second door which led into the City. Towers were strategically placed over these inner doors to allow almost perfect aim at the enemy trapped below.

One should not confuse the terms Imperial City and Forbidden City (Imperial Palace). The Imperial City as it existed many years ago covered an area which encompassed not only the land where the Forbidden City is today, but also Tian An Men Square and acres and acres of surrounding areas. Anyone who worked in the Imperial Palace lived within the walls of the Imperial City. Much of the original wall has been torn down and is now part of urban Beijing. Qian Men Gate is one of the last vestiges marking the old Imperial City's bound aries.

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