The world's seventh-largest public square is best known in the West for the 1989 student protests, but this is also where, on October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong founded the People's Republic of China. The square was named for Tiananmen (which translates as "Gate of Heavenly Peace"), one of the gates of the former Imperial city. It was built in 1651, then expanded in 1958 to four times its original size, and enlarged even further in 1976 with the construction of Mao's Mausoleum. Arrive at sunrise to watch the solemn flag-raising ceremony, performed with pride, precision, and a touch of flair.
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