Beijing’s Gates are basically the entrance of Beijing city. There is a saying that the ancient Beijing city had“9 inside, 7 outside, and 4 for the emperor.” It means that there are 9 gates inside the city, 7 gates outside the city and 4 gates in the forbidden city.
Inner city is the main structure of Beijing, the 9 gates following clockwise are Zhengyangmen, Xuanwumen, Fuchengmen, Xizhimen, Deshengmen, Andingmen, Dongzhimen, Chaoyangmen, Chongwenmen, which have their own usage and character. Now only the Zhengyangmen’s gate tower and watch tower and Deshengmen’s watch tower are remained. Other towers for all the gates are destroyed.
7 gates outside city clockwise are Dongbianmen, Guangqumen, Zuo'anmen, Yongdingmen, You'anmen, Guang'anmen, Xibianmen. These gates are built for the residents in Beijing to do business, come to work and visit relatives.
4 royal gates are Tian'anmen, Di'anmen, Dong'anmen，Xi'anmen, which are for the officials entrancing the Forbidden City.