Yes... the remains from the imperial era. This is the largest palace complex in the world to date, so be prepared to allocate plenty of time for the palace visit if you truly want to experience the grandeur of the glorious past.
Some of the places and structures are quite run down and not all the area at the palace are open for visitors.
Beijing Hotel is an ideal place for you to live during your Beijing trip, and a number of must-visit attractions are available in Beijing, which are more than you can attend to, including the Forbidden City, Beihai Park, Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace, so you'd better book a tour with a local agency. I booked a tour with China Highlights to Beijing last year, and it turned out to be very helpful, so good luck to you.
"Harmony" is the common word in the description of the several spaces of the Forbidden City. The smallest one is "complete". Why? Don't ask - I didn't read that much. It was used by the emperor to rest, in his way to the Hall of Supreme Harmony, more than 15 meters distant.
The Forbidden City was built over 14 years, beginning in 1405, when the third Ming Emperor moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing. It was very secure—it had walls and a moat, and the courtyard had numerous layers of bricks to prevent anyone from tunneling in. Over the centuries, the complex was home to 22 emperors. Now it is a museum. There are 5 gates going in, but only the Emperor could use the center Meridian gate. The complex has 9,999 rooms—one less than heaven. We didn’t begin to see all of it—it would take days.
Because yellow is the symbol of the royal family, it is the dominant color in the Forbidden City. Roofs are built with yellow glazed tiles; decorations in the palace are painted yellow; even the bricks on the ground are made yellow by a special process.
However, there is one exception. Wenyuange, the royal library, has a black roof. The reason is that it was believed black represented water then and could extinguish fire.
Located at the center of Beijing, to the north of Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, called Gu Gong in Chinese, was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares.
Surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter high wall are 9,999 buildings. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Divine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 meters, while the distance between the gates in the east and west walls is 750 meters. There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside. 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. The northern section, or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924 when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. Having been the imperial palace for some five centuries, it houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world-wide
Notes from travelchinaguide, my agency
The the Imperial Palace, the architecture building is in the performance of imperial supremacy, with physical changes, the ups and downs of the technique, and combined into a whole. On the function with the feudal hierarchy. At the same time reaches around equilibrium and form changes of artistic effect. China building roof form is rich and colorful, in the construction of the Imperial Palace, the different forms of the roof has 10 kinds of above. In 3 the hall as an example, the roof is different. The Imperial Palace building roof covered with colored glazed tiles. The main house with yellow base. Green for Prince residence architecture. Other blue, purple, black, green, malachite green, sapphire blue, a riot of colours of the glass, in the garden or glass wall. The hall of Supreme Harmony ridge roof is at each end of the glass can be stable, strong swallow big ridge. On a beautiful shape, is a member and decorative objects. A portion of tile shape dragon, lion, hippocampus and other three-dimensional images of animals, a symbol of good luck and majesty, these elements in the architecture play a decorative role. The Imperial Palace front palace, architectural modeling requirements was magnificent, bright open courtyard, a symbol of the feudal politics supreme Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City, is located in the center of the diagonal, four at each corner ten lucky beast, vivid, true to life likeness. The Imperial Palace of the designers think so as to show the emperor 's authority, stunning the world. The rear inner courtyard building are deep, compact, so that the six house is self-contained, the palace walls, oppositely arranged, orderly, coupled with lanterns in conjunction, Xiuta several bed, are adapted to luxury living need arrangement. After the palace court after the court is. After Yuan Li had we not withered green pines and verdant cypresses, a rock show composite masonry building, Linglong rockery, pavilion, pavilion, terrace looming there, beautiful and peaceful.
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The Forbidden City is called "The Palace Museum" now, cause it is no longer a Forbidden City as everyone can visit the Palace now with admission charge. It is located in the central of Beijing, which was the imperial palace of Ming and Qing dynasties. This palace was to constructed in 1407, and completed in 1420. There were 24 emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties living here with nearly 500 years old history. Emperor Yongle was the first emperor who lived here. Among others, Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty and Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty made many changes of the Palace complex. In 1911 revolution, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen broke out and overthrew the Qing Dynasty, ending 2,000 years of Chinese feudal monarchy. In 1925, it became a museum named "The Palace Museum" till today. It was declared as UNESCO site in 1987.
I visited the Forbidden City on 7th Oct 2011. I managed to queue for the ticket at 8am on the last day of National Holiday. During the National Holiday, it was too crowded to queue for the ticket, and definitely not a right time to visit. The TV news announced that The Palace Museum has the most visitors among all the attractions in China during National Holiday. The reason is because this is the "Must" place to visit for the Chinese once in their lifetime.
Before I went, I studied what to expect and how long would it take to see it all. Well, the answer is I don't think anyone can see it all in one day because it was so huge, hall after hall with small alleys with red brick walls. If you go with a tour guide, you will most likely miss out a lot of halls and palaces on the east and west, cause they might only show you the important palaces from Meridian Gate (South) to Gate of Divine Prowess (North).
There was a lady gave us some introduction of the museum, and selling us a map with guide book (Y5) while we were in the queue. The map and the guide book were very useful, especially the map gave me the sequence number, so I could avoid wasting time going back to wrong directions. The map and the guide are in bilingual, Chinese and English. So, if you see someone selling maps in your queue, take a look at it!! The map's sequence to visit the palaces as the following:
1) Meridian Gate (Wumen Gate) - In my review
2) Hall of Martial Valor (Wuyin Hall) - In my review
3) Gate of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Gate) - In my review
4) Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Hall) - In my review
5) Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghe Hall) - In my review
6) Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohe Hall)- In my review
7) Gate of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing Gate) - In my review
8) Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing Palace)- In my review
9) Hall of Union (Jiaotai Hall) - In my review
10) Palace of Earthly Tranquility (Kunning Palace) -In my review
11) Gate of Earthly Tranquility (Kunning Gate)
12) Imperial Garden - In my review
13) Hall of Imperial Peace (Qinan Hall)- In my review
14) Palace of Gathered Elegance (Chuxiu Palace) - In my review.
15) Palace of Universal Happiness (Xianfu Palace)
16) Palace of External Spring (Changchun Palace) - In my review.
17) Palace of Blessings to Mother Earth (Yikun Palace) -In my review.
18) Palace of Eternal Longevity (Yongshou Palace)
19) Hall of Great Supremacy (Taiji Hall) -In my review.
20) Hall of Mental Cultivation (Yangxin Hall) - In my review.
21) Hall for Abstinence (Zhai Palace)
22) Hall of Benevolence (Jingren Palace) - In my review.
23) Hall of Celestial Favor (Chengqian Palace)
24) Hall of Quintessence (Zhongcui Palace) - In my review.
25) Hall of Justice (Jingyang Palace) -In my review.
26) Hall of Eternal Harmony (Yonghe Palace)
27) Hall of Prolonged Happiness (Yangxi Palace)
28) Hall of Ancestral Worship (Fengxian Hall)
Far East Palaces:
29) Nine-Dragon Screen- In my review.
30) Gate of Peace and Longevity (Ningshou Gate)
31) Hall of the Norms of Government (Huangji Hall)- In my review.
32) Palace of Peace and Longevity (Ningshou Palace)- In my review.
Garden of the Palace of Peace and Longevity (Ning Shou Gong Garden)-In my review.
- Pavilion of Bestowing Wine
- Studio of Ancient Glory
Pavilion of Cheerful Melodies. -In my review.
33) Hall of Character Cultivation (Yang Xing Dian)-In my review.
34) Hall of Joyful Longevity (Leshou Hall) -In my review.
35) Hall of Harmony (Yihe House)- In my review.
36) The Well of Concubine Zhen (Zhenfei Well)- In my review.
37) Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwu Gate)- In my review.
I left Forbidden City at 4pm, and managed to glance through important halls and gardens. I did not have time to see most of the museums' displays. Good luck!!!
Forbidden City- 紫禁城 (Zi Jin Cheng)
Palace Museum- 故宫博物院 (Gu Gong Bo Wu Yuan)
April 1- Oct 31 (8:30-17:00)
Nov 1- March 31 (8:30-16:30)
April 1- Oct 31 (Y60)
Nov 1- March 31 (Y40)
This is a well-known well in the Chinese history. Concubine Zhen was thrown into this well from the order of Empress Dowager Ci Xi due to political issue and power in the imperial palace. The signboard was written as:
" Concubine Zhen was the beloved concubine of Emperor Guangxu. She sympathized with and supported the Emperor's views on constitutional reform and modernization. After the reform was suppressed by Empress Dowager Cixi, the Emperor was taken into custody in Yingtai while the Concubines was confined in houses under guards. When the Eight-Power Allied Force attacked Beijing in 1900, Concubine Zhen was thrown into and drowned in this well by Eunuch Cui Yugui at the order of Cixi. "
"In 1901, she was posthumously conferred the title of Noble Concubine, the third-level consort. Concubine Jin, her sister, set up the mourning chamber for her to praise her sincerity and determination. "
NEXT: Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwu Gate)
In Chinese: 珍妃井 (Zhen Fei Jing)
Hall of Harmony is a link building with Pavilion of Prospective Happiness (Jing Qi Ge). This building complex is located northern part of the far east Forbidden City. Currently, this hall is a museum displays imperial gifts now.
The signboard is written as:
" Constructed in 1776 during the Qing Dynasty, this hall is linked with Jing Qi Ge (Pavilion of Prospective Happiness) by a covered corridor. It was built for Emperor Qianlong's retirement. The words "Yi He" mean preserving one's vital energy."
NEXT: The Well of Concubine Zhen (Zhenfei Well)
In Chinese: 颐和轩 (Yi He Xuan)
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