On Thursday Mr Hunter, Mr Sun, Pao Pao and I had a huge tour of Beijing. It started at the Great Hall of the People. This is the parliament building for China and it was very impressive. It is a huge, austere building with many halls.
Mr Sun bought us tickets to look round the building. It was an amazing building with rooms and walls covered with huge works of art from silk paintings to enormous lumps of jade. There were crystal chandeliers, beautiful carpets, tapestries and traditional chinese calligraphy.
Some facts about the Great Hall from Wikipedia;
- The Great Hall of the People was opened in September 1959. It was one of the “Ten Great Constructions” completed for the 10th Anniversary of the People’s Republic. It was built in 10 months by volunteers.
- It has a Banquet Hall that Richard Nixon has eaten in, that could have 7,000 as a drinks reception or 5,000 sitting down for dinner in one room.
- Each province, special administrative region, autonomous region of China has its own hall in the Great Hall, such as Beijing Hall, Hong Kong Hall and Taiwan Hall. Each hall has the unique characteristics of the province and is furnished according to the local style.
- The Great Auditorium, seats 3,693 in the lower auditorium, 3,515 in the balcony, 2,518 in the gallery and 300 to 500 on the dais. Government leaders make their speeches. It can simultaneously seat 10,000 representatives. The ceiling is decorated with a galaxy of lights, with a large red star is at the centre of the ceiling, and a pattern of a water waves nearby represents the people. A simultaneous interpretation system is also provided with a language booth.
A short video about the entrance to the Great Hall and the Shanghai room. The music is the National Anthem of China.