19 July 2008

Tiananmen Square

Five days and counting. You could be the lucky winner for the Trip for Two to China, sponsored by yourLDSNeighborhood and to be drawn on July 24th . . . and you could be standing in the center of Tiananmen Square, named after Tiananmen, literally interpreted to mean the Gate of Heavenly Peace, which bars the way to the Forbidden City.

In order to be eligible to win this exotic and thrilling grand prize, you must subscribe to the Neighborhood Newsletter. Filled with wonderful articles, products, services and interviews conducted by Utah personality, Rebecca Cressman, the newsletter is dropped into your inbox four times a week. It has become the most looked forward to newsletter amongst our subscribers, of which you can be one. So back to Tiananmen Square . . .

Tiananmen Square stands in the center of Beijing. First a gate, and now a square, it was destroyed off and on, at times only a gate and other times, like now, an actual square. It is now, actually, the biggest open urban square in the world.

The Tiananmen Gate was first built in the 1420s in the Ming Dynasty. During the demise of the Ming Dynasty, heavy fighting between Li Zicheng and the early Qing emperors damaged (or perhaps destroyed) the gate. In 1651 (early Qing Dynasty), the Tiananmen Gate was renovated. During the Ming and Qing eras, there was no public square at Tiananmen; instead, it was a T-shaped walled courtyard flanked by offices various ministries, bureaus and agencies.[citation needed] It was enlarged to its present size and cemented in 1958. [2]

British and French troops who invaded Beijing in 1860 pitched camp near the gate and briefly considered burning the gate and the entire Forbidden City down. They decided ultimately to preserve the palace and to burn instead the emperor's Summer Palace. The Qing emperor eventually agreed to let the foreign powers establish headquarters in the area. During the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 the siege badly damaged the office complexes and several ministries were burnt down. In the conflict's denouement, the area became a space for foreign troops to assemble their armies and horses. It was cleared in due course to produce the beginning of what is now known as the Tiananmen Square. The Square, however, was not officially made until the PRC took power in 1949. ~ Wikipedia

My minor in college was history. Being surrounded by and steeped in the history of a people which have existed for millennia is something which would thrill me to no end . . . alas, I am employed by the Neighborhood so I'm out of the running for this fantastic grand prize, but you aren't! Subscribe now to the Neighborhood Newsletter and toss your hat into the ring . . . maybe you'll walk away with the grand prize, maybe you won't. But at least you'll have a fantastic newsletter to look forward to four times a week.

Gaylen, the CEO of yourLDSNeighborhood, is aching to give this Trip for Two to China to somebody . . . why shouldn't it be you?

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