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Forbidden City

Forbidden City

The location of the Forbidden City

Situated on the heart of Beijing, the Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. And it is also the best preserved imperial palace in China and the largest ancient palatial structure in the world. Featured with the traditional culture and unique architecture, the Forbidden City is a symbol of imperial life of china.

Names of the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City was also known as the Palace Museum or Purple Forbidden City. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the emperor had supreme power and he believed he was the person just below heaven but above all the people, so his residence was certainly a forbidden place to the ordinary people. That’s the reason why it was named to be the Forbidden City. In ancient china, people believed that the Purple Star was located in the center of the universe. The palace on the Purple Star was believed to be the palace in which the God of Heaven to live. Since the emperor believed that he was the “son of Heaven”, he called his palace “Purple Forbidden City”. Now, we it was called to be “Palace Museum”, for here is no longer an imperial palace for the emperor, but a museum with lots of historical relics for people to visit.

The area of the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City covers an area of 720,000 square meters. It consists of 90 palaces and courtyards. The popular saying of the rooms and buildings in the Forbidden City is that there were 9,999 and a half rooms. Because the Heavenly Palace” for the God of Heaven had 10,000rooms, the emperor on the earth didn’t dare to compare himself with the God of Heaven. Therefore, the number of rooms in the Imperial Palace was a half room less. It is said that the half room is at the western side of the Wenyuan Pavilion. For five centuries, this palace functioned as the administrative center of the country as well as being the residence of emperors and empresses of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation, consisting of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony and The Hall of Preserving Harmony. The northern section or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family, including Palace of Heavenly Peace, the Palace of the Union and Peace and the Palace of Terrestrial Tranquility.

General information of the Forbidden City

In 1961 the Palace Museum was listed as one of the important historical monuments under the special preservation by the Chinese central government and in 1987, it was nominated as the world cultural heritage by the UNESCO. Now, the Palace Museum holds a large number of historical and cultural relics as well as precious works of arts. Therefore, it is the largest museum of culture and art in china and one the famous museum in the world. The Palace Museum is of great value for scientific research as well as for the tourism industry. It has become a famous tourist attraction, and every day there are thousands and thousands of tourists to visit the Forbidden City.


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