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 Essential Architecture-  Peking

Great Hall of the People (National Legislature)




Beijing / Peking, China


built in 10 months by volunteers in 1958 and 1959


Socialist realism


granite facade


National Legislature
  The ceiling of the 10,000-seat auditorium where the National People's Congress meets annually.
The Great Hall of the People (pinyin: Rénmín Dàhùitáng) is located at the western edge of Tiananmen Square, Beijing, People's Republic of China, and is used for legislative and ceremonial activities by the People's Republic of China and the Communist Party of China. However, most day to day government activities are conducted within a complex at Zhongnanhai.

With floor space of more than 170,000 square meters it has 300 meeting halls, lounges and office rooms. Each meeting hall is named after a political division of China and furnished according to the local style. The National People's Congress meets at the 10,000-seat auditorium annually and its Standing Committee meets in another room.

Every year, in March, the Great Hall of the People plays host to the liang hui (literally "two meetings") event, where both the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the National People's Congress meet in sessions lasting for two to three weeks. The Communist Party of China also holds its General Meetings every five years in the central hall, and the event is given plenty of fanfare and attention.

The building is often given prominence in China. In the 3rd Renminbi series, the Great Hall of the People appears in shades of black on the back side of the CNY 10 bill (then the largest denomination). In the current 5th series, it appears in shades of red on the back side of the CNY 100 bill (currently the largest denomination).

Facing the Great Hall of the People is the National Museum of China.