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Qian Men, Beijing

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Standing like some huge lost monolith at the southern end of Tian An Men Square , Qian Men, which literally translates as “Front Gate”, actually consists of two separate gates about 50 meters apart, each the size of a small castle. They used to mark the boundary between the inner and outer cities, but now one stands isolated on a traffic island, facing its counterpart across six lanes of impenetrable Beijing traffic. They look a little lost without the city wall, but remain impressive nonetheless. When open, you can ascend for a view over the square below.