Chinese Renminbi banknote scenery: The Great Hall of the People
Updated 15:23, 30-Jan-2019
Zhu Mei

Located on the western side of Tian'anmen Square in downtown Beijing, the Great Hall of the People is where national-level meetings, large anniversary celebrations and political activities are held. It is also open to the public as a tourist attraction when it is not in use.

As one of the “Ten Great Constructions” built to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China in 1949, the Great Hall of the People was constructed in just 10 months between October 1958 and September 1959, an architectural miracle.

The ceiling of the Great Hall of the People. /VCG Photo

The ceiling of the Great Hall of the People. /VCG Photo

With a floor space of 171,800 square meters, the hall is even larger than that of the Forbidden City.

The Great Hall of the People is divided into three sections. The central section mainly includes the Great Hall and the Central Hall. The northern section consists of the State Banquet Hall, the Salute State Guest Hall and other halls. The southern part is the office building of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China.

 The Golden Hall. /VCG Photo

 The Golden Hall. /VCG Photo

The Great Hall can hold as many as 10,000 people at the same time. Many national-level meetings are held here. The ceiling is decorated with a galaxy of lights, with a large red star in the middle. Each seat is equipped with electrical devices for simultaneous interpretation.

The State Banquet Hall has an area of 7,000 square meters, with a handling capacity of 7,000 guests, and up to 5,000 people can dine at the same time.

An interior view. /VCG Photo

An interior view. /VCG Photo

Each province, special administrative region and autonomous region has its own hall in the building, each of which is decorated and furnished with local feature.

Though the Great Hall is a political hub of China, some non-political conventions and concerts have also been held here in recent years. Tourists can search for performance information on the official website of the state building.

Richard Clayderman performs here, December 25, 2018. /VCG Photo

Richard Clayderman performs here, December 25, 2018. /VCG Photo

Tip:

The Great Hall of the People is open to the public from Monday to Sunday if there are no national conferences or other big political activities. The entrance fee is 30 yuan (4.5 U.S. dollars). A security check is required and bags should be stored in the Left Luggage Room before entering the Great Hall.

1km