- Travel Guide
- - 798 Art District
- - Beihai Park
- - Beijing Folklore Museum
- - Beijing Hutong
- - Beijing Industrial Arts Museum
- - Beijing Museum of Natural History
- - Beijing Museum of Traditional Operas
- - Beijing National Stadium
- - Beijing Police Museum
- - Beijing Zoo
- - Capital Museum
- - CCTV Tower
- - China National Film Museum
- - Chinese Aviation Museum
- - Eastern Qing Mausoleum
- - Forbidden City
- - Fragrant Hill Park
- - Great Wall Hiking
- - Guozijian
- - Jingshan Park
- - Military Museum
- - Nanshan Ski Resort
- - National Center for the Performing Arts
- - Tanzhe Temple
- - Temple of Heaven
- - The Drum and Bell Towers
- - The Ming Tombs
- - The Summer Palace
- - The Temple of Earth
- - The Tiananmen Square
- - The White Cloud Taoist Temple
- - Yushengtang Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum
- - Zhoukoudian Peking Man Site
The Forbidden City, called Gugong in Chinese, is located in the center of Beijing, only one kilometer to the north of Tiananmen Square, facing to the southern gate of Jingshan Mountain. It is protected by a huge rectangle wall which is 12 meters high and over 3 kilometers long, with a gate in each side. To the south is the Meridian Gate (Wu Men), to the north is the Gate of Divine Might (Shen Wu Men), east is the Donghuamen Gate and west Xihuamen. There are four uniquely and delicately designed watchtowers standing on the four corners of the wall. Surrounded by the city moat of 52 meters long and 6 meters deep, the Forbidden City becomes a castle with very strong defense.
The Forbidden City was first built in 1406 by the Emperor Zhu Di of the Ming Dynasty and completed in 1420, with 961 meters long from south to north and 753 meters wide from east to west. The palace, served as the palace of the Ming and the Qing dynasties, is an incomparable masterpiece of the ancient building and now is best and completely preserved. With a covered area of 725,000 square meters, it becomes one of the top five palaces and the largest group of palace in the world, and in 1987 it was listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
According to the layout and the function of the Forbidden City, it was divided into two sections, the outer court in the south and the inner court in the north, taking the Gate of Celestial Purity as their border. The Outer court, where the emperor dealt with national affairs, is consisted of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony and the Hall of Preserving Harmony, among which the Hall of Supreme Harmony is most magnificent and resplendent. Significant ceremonies would be held in the Hall of Supreme Harmony when the emperor was going to ascend the throng, have a wedding or issue decrees of war. And the emperor would have a rest before attending the grand ceremony and receipt others’ worship in the Hall of Central Harmony and give banquet and final imperial examinations in the Hall of Preserving Harmony. The inner court is where the emperor and queens live, including Palace of Heavenly Purity, the Hall of Union and Palace of Earthly Tranquility, with a beautiful imperial garden in the north of the court.
The dominant color in the Forbidden City is yellow since in the ancient time the color of yellow was regarded as the symbol of the royal family. Therefore, in the palace roofs were built with yellow glazed tiles and decorations were painted yellow. However, there are also exceptions in the palace, such as the house where the princes lived were built in green and the gardens were built in different colors.
The Forbidden City is a masterwork created by the Chinese labor people, and it well displays the intelligence and wisdom of ancient Chinese people. It is recorded that nearly over a million labors were driven to build the palace, including 100 thousand craftsmen. Stone needed was quarried from Fangshan, a suburb of Beijing.
Nowadays, the Forbidden City is open to tourists from home and abroad. Some comprehensive exhibitions are held in some palaces. It stores as many as more than one million ancient art treasures, amounting for one sixths in the total number of Chinese historical relics. It has great satisfied the visitors with its majestic constructions and historical treasures.
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Highlights: The Forbidden City, Short Hutong Tour in Xicheng District, The Mutianyu Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace