Beijing Attractions: Great Hall Of The People
Great Hall of the People 人民大会堂
The monolithic 1950s' Soviet-designed Great Hall Of The People located on the west side of Tiananmen Square is the venue for China's parliament - the National People's Congress. Built in 1959 in less than 10 months, the building is an intimidating space.
The construction was undertaken as one of the "Ten Great Constructions" completed for the 10th anniversary of the People's Republic foundation in 1949. Other buildings built as part of the "Ten Great Constructions" include Beijing Railway Station, Workers Stadium, the Military Museum and the National Museum. When the Chinese legislature is not in session tours of the building are available.
President Richard Nixon's Historic Visit
It is possible to see some of the 29 rooms in The Great Hall of the People named after China's provinces and decorated in local style as well as a 5000-seat banquet hall where President Richard Nixon was entertained on his ground-breaking 1972 visit.
The highlight is the supposedly 10,000 capacity main auditorium with its famous illuminated red star embedded in the glittering ceiling.
The building is indeed on a gigantic and overpowering scale. The Great Hall of the People is 356m long and 206m wide with an area of 171,800 square meters.
In March every year the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (SCPCC) and the National People's Congress (NPS) meet in a 2-3 week long sitting in the Great Auditorium, which is televised live each day.
Getting To The Great Hall of the People
Open daily 8am-4pm
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