The China Millennium Monument is a sundial-like architecture built to commemorate the year 2000. As the only landmark structure constructed at the turn of the century, the China Millennium Monument showcases the profound cultural spirits and the thoughts of the Chinese nation, ingeniously interweaving traditional wisdom and modern civilization.
Located on the extended section of West Chang’an Avenue, the China Millennium Monument stands along a north-south axis between the Military Museum and the Central Television Complex, with the Yuyuantan Park to the north and the Beijing West Railway Station to the south. Covering an area of 4.5 hectares, the China Millennium Monument consists of the Square of Holy Fire, the Bronze Corridor, the main sundial structure, the Century Hall, and the Hall of Art, etc.
At the southern entrance of the monument stands a white marble tablet, which is 9 meters long and 1,05 meters high, weighing 34.6 tons. It is said to be the largest white marble stone in the world. The tablet was engraved with five Chinese characters meaning “China Millennium Monument”, which were written by Jiang Zemin, the former president of People’s Republic of China.
To the north of the monument lies the sinking Square of Holy Fire, 1 meter lower than the ground, with a radius of 17.5 meters. The square consists of 960 pieces of granite, standing for China’s vast territory of 9,6000,000 square kilometers. In the center of the square stands the ever-burning Holy Fire. The fire originated at the site of Peking Man at Zhoukoudian, Beijing, and is fed on natural gas. The ever-burning flame, rising some 45 centimeters high, is a token of the unceasing creativity of the Chinese civilization. Along both the eastern and western sides of the square, there is a steady current of water, reminding people of the mother river of the Chinese nation – the Yellow River. On both sides, you can find 28 spurting springs respectively, symbolizing the Chinese civilization jointly created by China’s 56 ethnic groups.
The Bronze Corridor, 262 meters long and 3 meters wide, is the main component of the China Millennium Monument, featuring great originality and appealing force from the artistic perspective. The bronze plates paved along the middle of the corridor are carved with 184,000 characters in a south-north order, describing man’s appearance three million years ago and over 7,000 important events on Chinese science, technology, culture, education and other fields from 3,000 B.C. to 2,000 A.D.. The Bronze Corridor is an important carrier of the 5,000-year course of the Chinese civilization shown in the China Millennium Altar.
The main structure of the Monument is 39 meters high and 85 meters in diameter, consisting of “qian” (heaven) and “kun” (earth). The “qian” refers to the revolving rotunda, and the “kun” refers to the immobile bottom of the structure. The revolving rotunda weighs 3,200 tons, which is the world’s largest and heaviest revolving building body. The 56 ethnic designs surrounding the outer wall symbolize the unity of the 56 ethnic groups of the Chinese nation. A level and round stage with a diameter of 14 meters at the center of the rotating structure serves as the central arena for art performances, singing and dancing, and symphonies as well as other large open-air events.
The 27.6-meter-long Time and Space Probing Pin, a high-tech product, stands at the top of the revolving rotunda. Pointing to the sky at an angle of 45°, it is the symbol of eternal extension of time and space and expresses the innovation and exploration spirit of Chinese people. The beautifully shaped pin contains high-tech elements, and advanced sound, light and power structures. It will also remind you of the sundial in the Forbidden City.
Inside the China Millennium Monument is an art museum called Beijing World Art Museum, which specializes in collecting, exhibiting and researching in foreign arts. The major building of China Millennium Monument is Century Hall, in which there is a large-scale round basso-relievo fresco, showing the past, today and future of China. With a perimeter of 117 meters, it is currently the largest fresco of its kind in China.
The China Century Bell stands in the square on the eastern side of the China Millennium Monument. It is 6.8 meters high, 3.38 meters in diameter on the mouth and weighs 50 tons, known as the “King of the Bells”. On the western side is the National Song Square.
- Climbing up the China Millennium Monument, you can have a nice view of the Yuyuantan Park.
- To get to the China Millennium Monument, you can take Subway Line 1 and get off at the Military Museum Station.