Tianfu Square

This square, overlooked by an enormous Chairman Mao statue, is in the center of the city and was once the site of the Imperial Palace. That was torn down during the Cultural Revolution — to the dismay of local residents. Every evening at dusk, as well as at noontime, an elaborate water show, synchronized to music, bursts out from the square’s fountains and attracts crowds of people during the spring and summer. Below the square is a shopping mall and the hub of Chengdu’s subway system. The major streets branching out from here are Renmin Road south and north and Taishan Road. These roads lead north to the sports stadium, west to People’s Park, east to Chunxi Shopping District and south toward the “rich” and more foreign part of town.