A black-and-white photograph showing the official start of the demolition of the Zhengyang Gate (Zhengyangmen 正陽門), better known as the Front Gate (Qianmen 前門), in 1915. The gate was the main gateway between the Outer City 外城 and the Inner City (Neicheng 内城) of Beijing. The symbolic blow to the wall was carried out by the then Minister of Transport.
The photograph is the 435th of 449 photographs of Beijing and its surroundings in the album of Ivan Skušek Jr., purchased during his stay in Beijing (1914–1920). In the handwritten inventory of the album, the photograph is referred to as Demolieren des Tsien-Men: Der Verkherminister führt den ersten Schlag. (DZ, MV)