The construction of Great Hall of the People
started in October 1958 and was completed by the end of August 1959, taking ten months altogether.
It has a total floor space of 171,800 square metres, 20,000 square metres more than that of the Palace Museum in the neighbourhood. It is 206 metres long and 336 metres wide. Its highest point is 46.5 metres from the ground.
It consists of three major sections: in the north is the Banquet Hall that accommodates 5,000 people; in the centre is the Grand Auditorium with a seating capacity of 10,000; offices of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress are in the south. There are more than 300 reception rooms and conference halls of various sizes. Thirty one reception rooms are furnished by and named after various provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. Each of the rooms is distinguished by its local features. Today, we'll visit some of them. They are the reception rooms of Taiwan Province, Sichuan Province, Hunan Province, Liaoning Province, Guangdong Province, Shanghai Municipality and Beijing Municipality.
We are now in the central foyer. It's for the people attending meetings to take a rest during intervals. The floor is paved with natural marble and the 20 pillars are made of white marble. Each crystal glass chandelier weighs 1.2 tons.