The Monument to the People’s Heroes is a ten-story (37.94 meters) obelisk located in the southern edge of Tiananmen Square, to the north of the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong in Beijing, China. It was erected as a national monument of the People’s Republic of China to the martyrs of revolutionary struggle during the early 19th and mid 20th centuries.
The Monument to the People’s Heroes was built with more than 17,000 pieces of granite and white marble composing of double platforms and double sumeru bases, making it the largest monument in Chinese history. The monument’s construction began on August 1st, 1952 and was completed on April 1958. The architect of the monument was Liang Sicheng, with some elements designed by his wife, Lin Huiyin.
On the back of the monument is a message, drafted by Mao Zedong and written by Zhou Enlai:
Eternal glory to the heroes of the people who laid down their lives in the people’s war of liberation and the people’s revolution in the past three years!
Eternal glory to the heroes of the people who laid down their lives in the people’s war of liberation and the people’s revolution in the past thirty years!
Eternal glory to the heroes of the people who from 1840 laid down their lives in the many struggles against domestic and foreign enemies and for national independence and the freedom and well-being of the people!
On the front of the monument is an inscription in Mao Zedong’s handwriting, which reads, “Eternal glory to the people’s heroes!”
On the pedestal of the tablet are huge bas-relieves depicting eight major revolutionary episodes, which can be read in chronological order in a clockwise direction from the east:
- Destruction of Opium at Humen (1839), in the run-up to the First Opium War
- Jintian Uprising, the catalyst for the Taiping Revolution (1851)
- Wuchang Uprising, the catalyst for the (1911 Revolution)
- May 4th Movement (1919)
- May 30 Movement (1925)
- Nanchang Uprising (1927)
- War of Resistance Against Japan (1931-1945)
- Crossing the Yangtze River Campaign in the Chinese Civil War (1949)
The Monument to the People’s Heroes
Tiananmen Square, Beijing