Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao, also called Mao Mausoleum, Mao Zedong and Maozhuxi Jinian Tang in Chinese, is Mao Zedong’s resting place, the Chairman of Politburo (from 1943) and Central Committee (from 1945) of the Communist Party of China until 1976 when he died. Situated to the north of Monument of People’s Heroes and east of Tiananmen Square, the Chairman Mao Memorial hall stands by the Zhonghuamen, the former gate of China.
The building foundation was laid in the year 1976 and its inauguration was celebrated in September 1977. The Memorial Hall is spread over an area of 57,200sq.mtrs, 280 meters from south to north and 220 meters from east to west. Right above the main gate, you will see a white marble with “Chairman Mao Memorial hall” inscribed on it in golden letters.
There are two groups of clay figures representing the China Revolution – one for the socialist construction and the other for New Democracy period. The two clay figures stand opposite the south gate of the structure. In the same way, there are two clay figures in front of the north gate as well. Counting the total, you will find four different teams and 62 clay figures each of 3.5 meters. It took around 5 months for the entire sculpture to be constructed by more than 100 sculptures from 18 provinces of China. You will find 30 flags hosted outside the south gate that represents the 30 municipalities, provinces and autonomous regions.
The Memorial Halls in the Mausoleum
The memorial halls are the main area of the mausoleum building and include two floors. The memorial halls on the first floor are the South Great hall, The North Great Hall and the Memorial Hall. The North Great Hall serves as the entrance for the Memorial Hall and it is the area for commemorative rites. There is a 3.45 meters tall marble statue of the Chairman Mao Zedong at the center of the hall. At its backdrop, you will see a large mural painting – The Vast Homeland, 6.6 meters tall and 23.74 meters wide. The Memorial Hall is the central hall where people pay tribute to Mao Zedong, the Chairman. In the Sun Yat Sen’s uniform, Mao Zedong’s body was wrapped in the China’s Communist Party’s flag and it rests in the crystal coffin. The base (black granite) of the coffin had four inlaid sides with the national emblem, army emblem, party emblem and the birthday and death day of Chairman Mao. As you move towards the South Great wall, It the way out from the Memorial hall, the exit gate.
Coming to the halls on second floor, they are memorial rooms to showcase the revolutionary accomplishments of Comrade Zhou Enlai, Mao Zendong, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Chen Yun and Deinang Xiaoping and a movie hall. In the center of the six memorial rooms, there are six marble statues of the six leaders. Some photos, literatures and other materials are preserved in the rooms to showcase their achievements in the different phases of China Revolution and Construction.
Tips for visiting Chairman Mao Memorial Hall
- Keep up with the line of visitors to enter the hall and make sure to have valid certificates such as Chinese ID cards, your passport and other important identity documents.
- Wear proper clothes (no vests and slippers allowed). Take off your hat in gesture of respect to the leaders.
- Before entering the hall, deposit your bags, handbags, video devices, cameras, snacks and drinks in the baggage office on the left.
- Maintain silence inside the hall. Put your phones on silent and avoid running around. If you are with kids, make sure they stay quiet.
- If you are planning a visit on Dec 26 (Chairman Mao’s birthday), Sept 9 (the day the Chairman died) or on Qingming Festival, get there early as there are more visitors on these days.
- The Memorial Hall remains closed on special occasions; check the days on the no tice board near the hall.
- The Memorial Halls allow group visits only, from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30am to 12:00pm. The entry is free for public.
How to reach the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall
You can reach the Memorial Hall both by bus and subway.
By Bus: You can take bus 1, 5, 2, 59, 52, 82, 120 or the bus Line 2 for sightseeing and get Tiananmen Square East. Walk for 2 minutes and take a turn towards north, now walk for another 3 minutes to reach the Memorial hall.
You can also take another route towards Tiananmen West by taking bus 1, 5, 52, the Sightseeing Bus Line 2, Tourist Bus Line 2 or Sightseeing Bus Line 1. Getting off at Tiananmen West walk for 2 minutes towards the east and the turn towards south,. Walk for another 3 minutes to reach the hall.
By Subway: Take the Subway Line 1 and get down at Tiananmen West or Tiananmen East station, the hall is to your south.
Take the Subway Line 2 and get down at Qianmen Station, the hall is to your north.