Everyone who want visit Beijing, China should know about Forbidden City, right? This ancient imperial palace of China 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. Because of its rich history and impressive wooden architecture, Forbidden City even was listed by the UNESC0 as a world cultural heritage site in 1987. Here we will give you some details about the architecture and its interesting facts that will increase your knowledge about this palace before visit.
Layout of Forbidden City
Taihedian, The Most Important Hall in Outer Court
Forbidden City covers an area of 178 acres that include 90 palaces with courtyards, 980 total buildings, and at least 8,700 rooms. It has known as the largest collection of ancient wooden structures in the world. Forbidden City separated into two main sections including the Inner Court and Outer Court. Outer Court was the place where emperors conducted official ceremonies. Major structures of the Outer Court are the Three Grand Halls-Taihedian, Zhonghedian and Baohedian-flanked by Wenhuadian and Wuyingdian. Among all of them, Taihedian is the most important and largest, it was also used for grand ceremonies such as Chinese New Year, Winter Solstice, birthday of the emperor, conferment of empress, wedding ceremony the emperor, etc.
Whereas the Inner Court, it was used as the living area of emperor and his family. The emperor himself slept in a building called the Palace of Heavenly Purity. The Empress lived in a building called the Palace of Earthly Tranquility.
Interesting Facts about Forbidden City
Buildings with Yellow Roof
The named of Forbidden City is very ideal for the palace because in ancient times of China, common people cannot enter the palace freely without permission from the emperor. Besides, while exploring Forbidden City, you can personally have a look to every roofs of the buildings inside the palace were made with yellow tiles. This color used because yellow was the exclusive color of the emperor and symbolized his ultimate power. One exceptional for the roof color you will find in the library building which color black, to symbolize water in order to protect the writings from fire.
Another detail that you should see is in each building's roof during Forbidden City tour, there is decorated with a line of small statues, with the importance of the building determining how many it featured. The highest number is ten for the emperor building. Forbidden City covers a huge complex more like a big city than a palace. The main part of the city even was constructed over 14 years (1407-1420) using 200,000 laborers. Never imagine if you spend the whole life inside the palace, right?
Forbidden City has known as the Palace Museum, it located in the center of the city, Beijing, the capital of China. It has regarded as one of the architectural masterpieces in the world and also list as one of the World Heritage List by UNESCO.
History of Forbidden City
Forbidden City built began in 1406 in the reign of Ming Emperor Yongle and took 14 years to complete it. It was used as the palace where emperor and his family lived and handled court business. In 500 years, in total there are 24 emperors include 14 of the Ming and 10 of the Qing, ruled the country from there.
Structures of Forbidden City
Forbidden City in Winter
Situated in the total area of 72 hectares, the rectangular palace city has totally 8,707 rooms. It is divided into two parts, the Inner Court and Outer Court. The Inner Court was the place emperor lived with his family and the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the country. At past, no one can enter the palace complex without emperor permission.
Almost all the rooftops in the Forbidden City are finished with yellow glazed tiles. This colour was chosen as, at the time, yellow was the official colour of the Chinese emperor. When you come to Forbidden City, you also can see each building’s roof is decorated with a line of small statues, with the importance of the building determining how many it featured. The highest number is ten for the emperor.
Three Great Halls inside Forbidden City
Main Palaces in Forbidden City
In Forbidden City, there are some important historical sites that you should not miss, include Hall of the Supreme Harmony, Hall of Middle Harmony and Hall of Preserving Harmony. Those 3 halls were known as the great hall, the heart of Forbidden City. Hall of Supreme Harmony is the most important and largest structures in the Forbidden City. It was used for ceremonial occasions, such as, emperor birthday, the nomination of military leaders and coronations.
Behind Hall of Supreme Harmony is the smaller Hall of Middle Harmony which was used as the emperor transit lounge. Here he would make last minute preparations, rehearse speeches and receive close ministers.
And the third hall called Hall of Preserving Harmony which was used for banquets and later for imperial examinations. Located in the Outer Palace or also called Front Palace, 3 famous great halls was the major important halls in the ancient times of China.
1) Take the subway line 1 and get off at Tiananmen West or Tiananmen East station
2) Take Tourist Bus No. 1 or No. 5 and get off at Qianmen Station
3) By bus include many bus tour lines are able to reach Forbidden City