Zhengyangmen (正阳门). Historically in the Yuan Dynasty, Zhengyangmen was named Lizhengmen, and local citizens call it Qianmen or Front-Gate, which is a match with Dianmen or Gate of Earthly Peace (publicly called Rear-Gate). Zhengyangmen used to be the gate for the in and out of Emperor’s Sedan Chair, so Zhengyangmen is also called Guomen or State Gate.

Chongwenmen (崇文门). Historically in the Yuan Dynasty, Chongwenmen was named Wenmingmen or Civilized Gate, publicly called "Ha Demen", or "Haidaimen". Once, the official of the capital assessed upon high tax in the gate.

Xuanwumen (宣武门). Historically in the Yuan Dynasty, Xuanwumen was named Shunchengmen or Shunzhimen (Shunzhi was the title during the reign time of Emperor Rongzheng in the Qing Dynasty). Xuanwumen used to be the execution ground, and prisoner vehicles went and came regularly. Hence, many citizens called it “Death Gate”. At noon, if a gun fired at Xuanwumen, people all understood that a man was killed.

 

Xuanwumen

Chaoyangmen (朝阳门). Historically in Yuan Dynasty, Chaoyangmen was named Qihuamen. The food or grain transports were both done through this gate. Especially during the special time of some festivals, many businessmen gathered here for selling and purchasing.

Fuchengmen (阜成门), directly opposite to Chaoyangmen was once named Pingzemen in the Yuan Dynasty. Many coal vehicles were in and out of the gate from Mentougou, the west of Beijing; hence some coal businessmen gathered some money to inscribe a plum blossom to remember it. In Chinese, Mei (梅, plum blossom) has the same pronunciation with Mei (煤, coal). On the windy day, the snow or plum blossom petals flied in the sky. The sitters surrounding the coal burners sung that the plum blossom of Fuchengmen tells the coming of spring.

Dongzhimen (东直门). Historically in the Yuan Dynasty, it was called Chongrenmen, which was the poorest gate among nine gates. Here, the outskirt vendors gathered to sell the basins. But the medicine-king statue here was very elaborative, so the public called this statue in place of the name of Dongzhimen.

Xizhimen (西直门). Historically in the Yuan Dynasty, it was called Heyimen. The legend of getting water at daybreak is well known in Beijing. The water vehicles of the royal palace getting water from Yuquan Mountain from the downtown came and went this gate.

Deshengmen (德胜门). Historically in the Yuan Dynasty, it was named Jiandemen for in and out of troops, so it was named Desheng (德胜) meaning victory via virtue. In the 43rd year of Qianlong as the emperor of the Qing Dynasty, the farming products were less harvested for suffering from the serious drought, at the end of the year, the emperor went to Ming Tomb and by way of Deshengmen when the heavy snow suddenly fell. The drought was largely relieved. At the time, Emperor Qianlong was joyous and wrote a poem and erected a stele with two Chinese character "祈雪 (snow praying)".

Andingmen (安定门). Historically in the Yuan Dynasty, it was named Anzhenmen. It was the gate for welcoming the troops returned victoriously. Here there were City-God Temple and Zhenwudadi Temple.

 

 

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