As the longest avenue in the world, Beijing Chang’an Avenue boasts of being the first avenue of China with 45 kilometers (28 miles) long and 100 meters (109 yards) wide, which was built from the 4th year (1406) to the 18th year (1420) of the Emperor Yongle’s reign of the Ming Dynasty (1368- 1644) together with the Forbidden City. Chang’an Avenue was named after Chang’an (presently Xian of Shaanxi Province, the ancient capital of the Tang Dynasty), which means a long and peaceful reign.
Highlights Along Chang’an Avenue
As the central avenue of Beijing, Chang’an Avenue plays an important part in Beijing, and it’s composed of west Chang’an Avenue and east Chang’an Avenue with Tian’anmen Rostrum as border, along which a number of famous sightseeing spots are distributed, highlighted by the Great Hall of the People, Zhongshan Park and Zhongnanhai. Many cultural relics are also available on each side of the avenue, including the Museum of the Chinese Revolution, the Museum of the Chinese History, the Forbidden City, the Grand National Theater of China, Beijing Music Hall and the Chinese Military Museum. In addition, a number of famous commercial districts are also available on the avenue, including Dongdan, Wangfujing, Xidan, the Financial Street and the headquarters of Bank of China.
Evolving from a T-shaped imperial square of the Ming Dynasty (1368- 1644), Tian’anmen Square is the largest one of its kind in the world with the Monument to the People's Heroes standing in the center, in the west, east and south of which erect the Great Hall of the People, the Grand National Theater of China and the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao Zedong respectively.
Known as the Altar of Land and Grain during the Ming (1368- 1644) and the Qing (1616 -1911) Dynasties, Zhongshan Park is the oldest park in the history of Beijing, which was the place for ancient emperors to offer sacrifices to the God of Earth and the God of Grain. The Altar of Land and Grain was renamed Zhongshan Park to commemorate Sun Zhong Shan (Sun Yat-sen) since 1918.
Xidan Commercial Street
Xidan was the main passage to Guang’an Gate during the Ming Dynasty (1368- 1644), along which a number of stores, hotels and restaurants were successively built, making it a busy commercial center in the Qing Dynasty (1616 -1911). Xidan is famous in Beijing for its dynamic fashionable element now, which attracts thousands of young men to shop and entertain themselves.
Wangfujing Avenue starts at Chang’an Avenue in the south and ends at the National Art Gallery of China, which is laden with costly merchandises from all over the world, including costume, jewelries, shoes and electric appliances.