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Chairman Mao Memorial Hall

Coordinates: 39°54′04″N 116°23′29″E / 39.9010°N 116.3915°E / 39.9010; 116.3915
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(Redirected from Mausoleum of Mao Zedong)

Chairman Mao Memorial Hall
General information
TypeMemorial Hall, Mausoleum
LocationTiananmen Square
Town or cityBeijing
Coordinates39°54′04″N 116°23′29″E / 39.9010°N 116.3915°E / 39.9010; 116.3915
Named forMao Zedong
GroundbreakingNovember 24, 1976
CompletedMay 24, 1977
Known forFinal resting place of Mao Zedong

The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall (simplified Chinese: 毛主席纪念堂; traditional Chinese: 毛主席紀念堂; pinyin: Máo Zhǔxí Jìniàn Táng), also known as the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, is the final resting place of Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party from 1943 and the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from 1945 until his death in 1976.

Although Mao had wished to be cremated, his wishes were ignored and his body was embalmed. The construction of a memorial hall as his final resting place began shortly after his death. This highly popular attraction is located in the middle of Tiananmen Square in Beijing. It stands on the previous site of the Gate of China, the southern (main) gate of the Imperial City during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The embalmed body of Chairman Mao is preserved in the cooler, central hall of the memorial hall in a glass case with dim lighting; it is guarded by a military honor guard. The memorial hall is open to the public every day except Mondays.[1]


The memorial hall is located on the Tiananmen Square, where the Beijing Gate of China used to stand (2005)

The memorial hall was built soon after Mao's death on September 9, 1976. On September 14, 1976, the State Planning Commission of China organized designers from more than ten units in eight provinces and cities in China to gather at the Qianmen Hotel in Beijing to start the site selection and scheme design of Chairman Mao's Memorial Hall.[2] The planning and design leading group consists of Zhao Pengfei, Yuan Jingshi, Shen Bo, etc.,[3] who participated in the design from the China Academy of Building Research, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Planning, Beijing Municipal Architectural Design and Research Institute, Tsinghua University, Tianjin University, Shanghai Municipal Civil Architecture Design Institute, Guangdong Provincial Architectural Design and Research Institute, Guangzhou Municipal Architectural Design and Research Institute, Nanjing Engineering Institute, China Architecture Northwest Design and Research Institute, Liaoning Provincial Architectural Design and Research Institute, Heilongjiang Provincial Architectural Design and Research Institute, the Chinese People's Liberation Army Basic Construction Engineering Corps Design and Research Institute.[4] After the study by the experts and leaders concerned, it was recognized that the better location options were Fragrant Hills, Tiananmen Square and Jingshan.[5]

On October 8, 1976, the Decision of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the State Council of the People's Republic of China, and the Central Military Commission on the Establishment of a Memorial Hall for Chairman Mao Zedong, the Great Leader and Tutor, was issued.[6][7][8]

On October 15, 1976, the Beijing Architectural Design and Research Institute set up the Planning and Design Group of the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao. On November 6, 1976, the Political Bureau of the CCP Central Committee reviewed the plan of Chairman Mao's Memorial Hall. On November 9, 1976, Chairman Mao's Memorial Hall Project Command was established, with Li Ruihuan, then deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Construction Committee, as the chief commander.[9] The Ninth Office of the State Council ("Ninth Office") was specially set up to coordinate the construction of Chairman Mao's Memorial Hall, and Vice Premier Gu Mu was in charge of the leadership of the Ninth Office and the construction of the Memorial Hall. Xiao Yang, the former director of Beijing Glass Factory, and Han Boping, the former vice mayor of Beijing, were members of the Ninth Office, and together they were responsible for the work of the equipment group of Chairman Mao's Memorial Hall.[10] On November 24, 1976, the Political Bureau of the CCP Central Committee finalized the plan of Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and the foundation stone of the Hall was laid. Hua Guofeng, then the Chairman of the CCP Central Committee, Premier of the State Council, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony and laid the soil for the cornerstone of the Memorial Hall.[11][12]

People throughout China were involved in the design and construction of the memorial hall, with 700,000 people from different provinces, autonomous regions, and nationalities doing symbolic voluntary labor.[13] Materials from all over China were used throughout the building: granite from Sichuan province, porcelain plates from Guangdong province, pine trees from Yan'an in Shaanxi province, saw-wort seeds from the Tian Shan mountains in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, earth from quake-stricken Tangshan, colored pebbles from Nanjing, milky quartz from the Kunlun Mountains, pine logs from Jiangxi province, and rock samples from Mount Everest.[14]

On May 24, 1977, the construction of Chairman Mao's Memorial Hall was completed. On August 22, 1977, the delegates to the 11th CCP National Congress visited Mao Zedong's remains, and the communiqué of the 1st Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CCP was published on the same day. On August 31, 1977, President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia went to visit Chairman Mao's Memorial Hall to admire the remains of Mao Zedong.[15] on September 9, 1977, the CCP Central Committee, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the State Council, and the Central Military Commission held a "Commemoration of the First Anniversary of the Death of the Great Leader and Mentor, Chairman Mao, and the Inauguration of Chairman Mao Memorial Hall" on the North Square of Chairman Mao's Memorial Hall". Since then, representatives from all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government have come to pay their respects.[16]

The memorial hall was closed for renovations for nine months in 1997 before reopening on January 6, 1998.[17] After that, the CCP Central Committee has held commemorative activities here on the occasion of the 90th, 100th, 110th and 120th anniversaries of the birth of Mao Zedong.[18][19]


A brown stone sculpture of soldiers fighting with various weapons, led by one carrying a flag with a man's face in profile on it
One of four sculptures located near the entrance and exit of the memorial hall

The North Hall contains the alabaster seated statue of Chairman Mao Zedong.[20] Chairman of the CCP Central Committee Hua Guofeng, Vice Chairman Ye Jianying and other central leaders personally reviewed the draft and selected the plan for the statue of Chairman Mao. In the creation of the statue, there were always two options for the seated figure, with or without crossing the legs. The central government chose the option of crossing the legs. After the statue was made, someone thought that the cross-legged statue was vivid and friendly, but it did not harmonize well with the solemn atmosphere of the Memorial Hall. The Central Committee studied and discussed these views and decided to rebuild a flat-legged statue to replace the cross-legged one. However, the implementation of this decision was very cumbersome, and finally Deng Xiaoping decided that there was no need to replace it, so the statue remained cross-legged.[21]

There are four sculpture groups in the square, all of which are made of clay,[22] one on each side of the east and west sides of the main gate in the north, and one on each side of the east and west sides of the back gate in the south. The sculpture on the east side of the north gate shows the democratic revolution. The sculpture on the west side of the north gate represents the socialist revolution and industrial construction. The two sculptures on both sides of the south gate represent the inheritance of the will and the continuation of the revolution.[23]


A queue to enter the memorial hall
Argentinian president Alberto Fernández visiting the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall in 2022

The memorial hall today remains a popular destination in Beijing, and is often visited by foreign dignitaries and Chinese Communist Party officials. Foreign heads of state, such as Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited the memorial hall during their state trips to China.[24][25]

On 29 September 2019, CCP general secretary Xi Jinping along with other Politburo members of the Chinese Communist Party visited the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "毛主席纪念堂". cpc.people.com.cn. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  2. ^ 北京市建筑设计研究院有限公司, 中国文物学会20世纪建筑遗产委员会 (2018). 中国20世纪建筑遗产大典 北京卷 Beijing volume. 天津: 天津大学出版社. p. 296. ISBN 978-7-5618-6286-5.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ 徐静主编 (1993). 伟人安息的地方 毛主席纪念堂纪实. 长春: 吉林人民出版社. pp. 89–90. ISBN 7-206-01779-7.
  4. ^ 金磊总编;单霁翔名誉总编 (2013). 中国建筑文化遗产 12 China architectural heritage. 天津: 天津大学出版社. p. 3. ISBN 978-7-5618-4870-8.
  5. ^ 彭积冬主编, 王钦双,丁志平,李焕巧副主编 (2015). 东城党史文萃 下. 北京: 同心出版社. pp. 632–633. ISBN 7-5477-1421-8.
  6. ^ 中国共产党. 中央委员会 (1976). 关于建立伟大的领袖和导师毛泽东主席纪念堂的决定: 1976年10月8日 (in Chinese). 人民出版社. Retrieved April 29, 2024.
  7. ^ 苏继红邓书杰 李 梅 吴晓莉 (2013). 转机时刻(1970-1979)(中国历史大事详解) (in Chinese). 青苹果数据中心. p. 396. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  8. ^ 涤荡叛乱:粉碎上海反革命武装叛乱阴谋 (in Chinese). BEIJING BOOK CO. INC. 2011. p. 33. ISBN 978-7-999206-20-0. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  9. ^ 郑珺编著 (2018). 长安街. 北京: 北京出版社. p. 76. ISBN 978-7-200-13437-7.
  10. ^ 万新华著 (2012). 圣地韶光:20世纪中期中国画之韶山图像 作 者 : 出版发行 :. 北京: 文化艺术出版社. p. 86. ISBN 978-7-5039-5244-9.
  11. ^ 张树军,高新民主编 (1998). 中共十一届三中全会历史档案 上. 北京: 解放军出版社. ISBN 7-5017-4469-6.
  12. ^ 在伟大的领袖和导师毛泽东主席纪念堂奠基仪式上华国锋主席的讲话 (in Chinese). 人民出版社. 1976. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  13. ^ "The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall Successfully Completed", China Pictorial, 9: 4–12, 1977
  14. ^ 多吉占堆,薛文献著 (2010). 雪山雄鹰 西藏登山运动50年. 桂林: 漓江出版社. pp. 45–46. ISBN 7-5407-4877-X.
  15. ^ 中国特色政党外交 (in Chinese). 社会科学文献出版社. 2017. p. 92. ISBN 978-7-5201-0056-4. Retrieved April 29, 2024.
  16. ^ 清华之路: 素质培养个案 (in Chinese). 花城出版社. 2003. p. 103. ISBN 978-7-5360-4113-4. Retrieved April 29, 2024.
  17. ^ "Crowds flock to Mao mausoleum". BBC. January 6, 1998. Archived from the original on April 21, 2004. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  18. ^ "纪念毛泽东同志诞辰130周年,毛主席纪念堂开放时间调整". m.thepaper.cn. Retrieved April 29, 2024.
  19. ^ "毛泽东诞辰120周年 习近平等赴纪念堂瞻仰遗容-中新网". www.chinanews.com.cn. Retrieved April 29, 2024.
  20. ^ 国魂典 (in Chinese). 吉林人民出版社. 1993. p. 218. Retrieved April 29, 2024.
  21. ^ "大修183天,毛主席纪念堂再开放". news.ifeng.com. Retrieved April 29, 2024.
  22. ^ 伟人安息的地方: 毛主席纪念堂纪实 (in Chinese). 吉林人民出版社. 1993. p. 146. ISBN 978-7-206-01779-7. Retrieved April 29, 2024.
  23. ^ 功绩永垂:毛主席纪念堂设计施工与建设 (in Chinese). 吉林出版集团有限责任公司. 2011. p. 57. ISBN 978-7-5463-2638-2. Retrieved April 29, 2024.
  24. ^ "Castro Honors Mao". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 10, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  25. ^ "Venezuela's Maduro pays tribute to 'giant' Mao". MalayMail. September 14, 2018. Archived from the original on November 10, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  26. ^ "Xi bows to Mao Zedong ahead of Communist China's 70th anniversary". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera and news agencies. Archived from the original on November 6, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2019.