Qianmen (Zhengyangmen)

Also known as Qianmen Gate or Zhengyangmen, Qianmen is right to the south of Tiananmen Square in Beijing. It served as the South Gate of the capital city in Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644 – 907) dynasties, bearing a history of over 600 years. First built in 1419 in Ming Dynasty, Qianmen is right on the north-south axis of capital city, and was said to be the Gate of the Nation.

In the past, there are nine gates guarding the capital city: Zhengyangmen Gate, Chaoyang Gate, Chongwen Gate, Xuanwu Gate, Fucheng Gate, Desheng Gate, Anding Gate, Dongzhi Gate and Xizhi Gate. Each had its own function.

Qianmen was an entrance merely for imperial carriages. It was only opened when the emperor went for worshipping heaven in Temple of Heaven or during the emperor and empress's wedding.

Gate Tower and Archery Tower of Qianmen

In ancient times, Qianmen actually consisted of three parts: the Gate Tower, the Archery Tower and and Barbican between the two towers. But the walls of Barbican were removed and a street was built on its site. Therefore, only Gate Tower and Archery Tower are preserved today.

Gate Tower

The Gate Tower is a 4-floor building with double eaves, which is decorated with green glazed tiles. On each floor, there are four doors in the four sides, and the winding corridors surround the gates. With the height of about 43.65m (143 feet), it's the highest gate tower in Beijing.

A museum with four floors is located on Qianmen, but the fourth floor isn't open to public. On the first floor, you can see a painting - An Imperial Parade of Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty. On the second floor, visitors can enjoy the history of Qianmen and Beijing City. Besides, the history and functions of the nine gates mentioned above are also shown here. Some other local cultural items, like New Year pictures, door god pictures and some other calligraphies & paintings can also be found here.

 Notice: Gate Tower is under repair  and closed at present.

Archery Tower

The inside of the Archery Tower is not open to visitors, but your can still see the spectular appreance of the tower from the street. The Archery Tower of Qianmen is the biggest one in Beijing and it has 4 floors. There are 13 arrow holes in each floor while there are 12 in the other eight Archery Towers. Because of this special characteristic, the Archery Tower has always been regarded as the symbol of Beijing city.

Qianmen Street in Front of Qianmen Archery Tower

Actually, locals regard Qianmen as an area covering the Qianmen Gate and Qianmen Street. The street consists of the main street and many hutongs nearby including the famous Dashilar Street. Walking along the street, you can taste all the famous local foods, like roast duck, baked wheat cake and sauce noodles. Some time-honored local brands like Quanjude, Duyichu, and Yitiaolong can all be found here.

Qianmen - A Tourist Bus Center

In the southwest of the Archery Tower of Qianmen is the headquarters of Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch. Here you can find tour buses to Badaling Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall and Ming Tombs.

Besides, many sightseeing buses, including night sightseeing ones from Qianmen can take you to lots of local attractions, like Dashilar Street, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, Beihai Park, and Zhongshan Park.

A tram also runs in the area, which is called 'Dangdang Che' by locals. The ticket counter is in front of Qianmen Archery Tower.

 See Sightseeing Bus in Beijing

How to get to Qianmen

1. Take Subway Line 2 to Qianmen; Leave from Exit A, you will see the Gate Tower of Qianmen; leave from Exit B, you will see the Archery Tower.
2. Take Bus 8, 22, 82, 13, 599, 67 or 332 and get off at Qianmen.
3. Take Bus 5, 9, 44, 67, 137, 142 or 132 to East Qianmen.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search

Attractions around Qianmen Area:
 Tiananmen Square
 China Railway Museum (Zhengyangmen Branch)
 Dongjiaomin Lane (Dongjiaomin Xiang)
 Xijiaomin Lane (Xijiaomin Xiang)
 Lao She Teahouse
 Qianmen Food Streets
- Last updated on Jul. 19, 2023 by Gabby Li -
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