As an axis of Beijing in the east-west direction, Chang'an Avenue in a narrow sense stretches from Dongdan to Xidan. In the past, it was referred to as the Shili Changjie, which means a long street of ten li (approximately 3.1 miles). However, in a broader sense, it runs from Tongzhou District to Shijingshan District, with an overall length of 28.6 miles (46 kilometers). The width of this street ranges from 197 to 394 feet (60 to 120 meters). Being one of the most important streets in China, Chang'an Avenue was once regarded as the longest and widest street all over the world. Having been expanded for several times, the avenue today takes on a more magnificent look. With numerous soaring skyscrapers and splendid decorative lightings, the night view of the street is a must see for all visitors.
Because of its political significance, Chang'an Avenue is often associated with many historical events. Whenever there is an event to be held there, the avenue will be decorated elaborately. It has witnessed the founding ceremony of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Later in 1976, thousands of Beijing civilians sent the hearse of the former premier Zhou Enlai off on this street after he passed away. Besides, the street is where military parades are conducted. In recent decades, the military parade generally took place once in ten years, falling on October 1st, theNational Day of China. On that day, the orderly parading procession marches from east to west along the avenue, passing before Tiananmen Tower, to celebrate the founding of PRC and demonstrate the developing military power to the whole world. On September 3rd, 2015, a special military parade was held along this street to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory in World Anti-Fascist War as well as Chinese Anti-Japanese War.