Great Hall of the People
China Numismatic Museum
This intriguing three-floor museum follows the technology of money production in China from the spade-shaped coins of the Spring and...
National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA)
Critics have compared it to an egg, but it looks more like a massive mercury bead, an ultramodern missile silo, or the futuristic lair...
Monument to the People’s Heroes
North of Mao’s mausoleum, and also in the centre of Tiān’ānmén Sq, the Monument to the People’s Heroes was completed in 1958. The...
National Centre for the Performing Arts
Sometimes called the National Grand Theatre, this spectacular Paul Andreu–designed dome, known to Beijingers as the ‘Alien Egg’,...
Lonely Planet review
On the western side of Tiān’ānmén Square, on a site previously occupied by Taichang Temple, the Jinyiwei (Ming-dynasty secret service) and the Ministry of Justice, the Great Hall of the People is the venue of the legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC). The 1959 architecture is monolithic and intimidating, and a fitting symbol of China’s remarkable political inertia. The tour parades visitors past a choice of 29 of its lifeless rooms named after the provinces of the Chinese universe. Also here is the banquet room where US president Richard Nixon dined in 1972, and the 10,000-seat auditorium with the familiar red star embedded in a galaxy of ceiling lights. The Great Hall of the People is closed to the public when the NPC is in session. The ticket office is down the south side of the building. Bags must be checked in but cameras are admitted.