Located to the north of theTian"anmen Square, the Tian"anmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) is a vermilion building with yellow glazed tiles, glistening in the sunlight with all its beauty, splendor and grandeur. Tian"anmen Gate was built in the 15th year (1417) of Emperor Yongle"s reign in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and has a history of over 570 years. From imperial days, the yellow glaze-tiled double-eaves tower functioned as a rostrum for proclamations to the assembled masses. The tower has five doors and in front of it are seven bridges spanning a stream. Only the emperor could use the central door and bridge.
The Gate measures 43.7 meters in height and with a facade of 62.77 meters wide. This solemn architecture of national style with double eaves has 60 grand red columns, 8 ball-shaped palace lanterns hanging high, white balustrade, yellow tiles, red beams and painted pillars, which in the arrangement of either colors or structures shine in its entirety, with the extraordinary beauty of harmony.
Looking up, the four roof-ridges with an orderly array of figurines of dragons, phoenix, lions, unicorns, heavenly horses, fighting bulls and other animals can be seen, which are vivid and brilliant. But under the up-turned roof-eaves, there are lightly painted graceful pictures of golden dragon and imperial seal, golden phoenix and imperial seal, dragon brocade and imperial seal, dragon phoenix and imperial seal etc., which are known as palace color pictures with a history of several hundred years. OnOctober 1, 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong, standing on the tower, proclaimed the founding of the newChina.
Jiao Lou (CornerTower)
In the Forbidden City of Beijing, there are four so-namedJiao Lou(Corner Tower) on the four corners, which used to be stationed by the emperor"s guardsmen, for instance, the existing Southeast Jiao Lou at Dongbianmen of the Chongwenmen (Chongwen Gate) District.
Jian Lou (ArcheryTower)
During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), each city gate ofBeijingwas also guarded by a Jian Lou (ArcheryTower), and two of them have been well preserved.
Zhong Lou (BellTower)
The Bell Tower in the city also plays a very big role in landscape. The existing Bell Tower of Beijing in the northern part of the city was built in the 18thyear (1420) of the reign of Ming Emperor Chengzu. TheBellTowerwas built entirely with bricks and stones. Under it is a square, towering brick platform, encircled by stone balustrades. A single-storied bell drum, which is the largest ever inChina, was erected on the platform.
Gu Lou (DrumTower)
Located to the south of theBellTower, theDrumToweroverlooks the busyDrum Tower Street, with a platform below and a two-storied, three-eave building on the upper level. TheDrumToweris horizontal and long in form, larger in size and elegant in style, presenting a sharp contrast to theBellTowerwhich is small, vertical, plain and neat.