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Forbidden City

 Corner Tower in Forbiddem CityLying at the center of Beijing City, the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, was where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties handled court business and resided. 24 emperors, 14 of the Ming and 10 of the Qing, ruled the country from here over a span of nearly 500 years. This magnificent, solemn and palatial complex is the largest wooden cluster in existence in the world today, and was listed by the UNESC0 as a world cultural heritage site in 1987.


Construction of the Forbidden City began in 1406, or the 4th year of the reign of Ming Emperor Yongle. It was completed fourteen years later. Occupying an area of 72 hectares, the rectangular palace city has totally 8,707 rooms. It was laid out on an invisible axis, and all architectural structures were arranged symmetrically in a hierarchical order along the axis. The palaces are fully walled on four sides by 10 meter-high walls. Outside the walls a 52 meter-wide moat surrounds the city. There are unique and delicately structured corner towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside.

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Palace Museum
The Forbidden City had been repaired and rebuilt many times during some 500 years, but its basic form and layout remains in the original state. It is divided into two parts. The Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the country, while the Inner Court was the place emperor lived with his family. Main structures stand on the north-south central axis while all the lesser palaces and specialized building are situated along the side axes and arranged in carefully planned order. Such planning is a strong claim for a hierarchical social order, manifesting the imperial dignity and supreme power and playing up the imposingment and magnificence of the Imperial Garden with snow in Forbidden Cityentire complex.


Major structures of the Outer Court are the Three Grand Halls-Taihedian, Zhonghedian and Baohedian-flanked by Wenhuadian and Wuyingdian. Amongst them, Taihedian is the most spectacular, as well as the largest wooden structure of its kind extant in China. Taihedian was where emperor ascended the throne. It was also used for grand ceremonies which marked Chinese New Year. Winter Solstice, birthday of the emperor, conferment of empress, wedding ceremony the emperor, as well as the dispatch of generals into fields of war. The Inner Court was where the emperor and his family lived, amused and dedicated the gods of different religions. Its main buildings include the Three Rear Palaces-Qianqinggong, Jiaotaidian and Kunninggong-and six groups of courtyard on each side, known as the Six Eastern and Western Palaces. There are also such famous buildings as Yangxindian, Ningshougong and Imperial Garden. To the north of Yuhuayuan is Shenwumen, the north gate of the Forbidden City.


The Palace Museum takes pride in its precious collections of more than 900, 000 cultural and art objects, many of which are state relics. There are exhibition halls, where visitors can admire bronze ware, pottery, arts and crafts of Ming and Qing dynasties, clocks, paintings, carvings, and other precious treasures.

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Forbidden City Tour

Forbidden City is one of the most famous historical sites, the Forbidden City attracts a number of tourists, the Forbidden city is a must for your Beijing tour!