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Home >> Beijing Travel Attractions >> Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Beijing tour China travel to Forbidden City
Beijing travel China tours to Forbidden City
Beijing trip China tours to Forbidden City

The Forbidden City, also known as the Imperial Palace and the Palace Museum, is the best preserved imperial palace in China and the largest ancient palatial structure in the world. In 1987, it was nominated as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO.

The Forbidden City used to be the former Imperial Palace for the Ming and Qing emperors. It was first build in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, while the Qing Emperors also stayed inside after they entered Beijing. Altogether 24 emperors lived and conducted state affairs in the Forbidden City for a total of 491 years.

The Forbidden City covers an area of 72 hectares with a total floor space of about 163,000 square meters. It is rectangular in shape, 960 meters long from north to south, and 750 meters wide from east to west, surrounded with a 10-meter high city wall and encircled by a 52-meter wide moat. At each corner of the surrounding wall, there is a magnificent watchtower, which was heavily guarded in the old days.

Talking about the rooms and buildings in the Forbidden City, the popular saying is that there ware 9,999 and a half rooms in the Forbidden City. Because the "Heavenly Palace" for the God of Heaven had 10,000 rooms, 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. But the fact is that, according to the records in 1973, the Forbidden City now consists of more than 90 palaces and courtyards, 980 buildings with rooms of 8,704.

The Forbidden City can be divided into two parts: the Outer Court and the Inner Palace. The Outer Court consists of three main buildings in the front part of the Forbidden City. This was the place where the emperors attended the grand ceremonies and conducted state affairs; while the Inner Palace is composed of the rear three main buildings and the six eastern palaces and six western palaces, and was the place where the emperor used to handle daily affairs and it was the living quarters for the emperor, empress and imperial concubines.

The museum is a real treasures house of Chinese cultural and historical relics, recognized as one of the most important five palaces in the world. The splendid architecture of the Forbidden City represents the essence and culmination of the traditional Chinese architectural accomplishment.

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