The magnificent Great Hall of the People is a modern structure in China. It has absorbed both Chinese and foreign architectural influences, and it also presents a distinct national style. Since its inception, the Great Hall has always been the important venue for the Party and the state affairs and diplomatic activities. It is here that many earth-shaking historical events, which have changed the development course of China, have taken place. As the country's political, economic, cultural and diplomatic center and the symbol of the People’s Republic, it symbolizes the pride and dignity of the Chinese people of all nationalities. The Hall has, too, witnessed China's vicissitudes over the past years. For all of these reasons, the Great Hall of the People has commanded respect, admiration and yearning of the Chinese people and naturally become a place that attracts worldwide attention.
The Great Hall of the People is situated on the west of Tiananmen Square, opposite the Museum of Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History on the east. On the north and the south are located Tiananmen and Zhengyang Gate and thus Tiananmen Square, the world's largest open square, is harmoniously surrounded by all these buildings.
The decision for building the Great Hall of the People was made by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in August 1958. Premier Zhou Enlai emphasized the design principle 'The people are the masters of the country'. While he was inspecting the construction site, President Mao Zedong set a high value on the enthusiasm displayed by the builders and gave the name of "The Great Hall of the People'' to this structure. Deng Xiaoping wrote the inscription for the name of this grand building. The designing and planning involved the most outstanding architects of the country. More than 30,000 people took part in the construction of the Great Hall in groups, among whom there were 7,000 first-rate technicians and workers from 20 provinces. This magnificent structure was completed within a period of ten months from November 1958 to September 1959.
In the past four decades, it has been renovated for several times and more bright wisdom and creativeness have been contributed to it each time. While maintaining its peculiar style, the designers have added artistic charm characteristic of the vitality of the times to this structure, which can aptly manifest the brilliant achievements made in economic and cultural construction of the People’s Republic.