The Gate of Supreme Harmony is called "Taihe Gate" in Mandarin. It is the gate for the emperor to enter the Hall of Supreme Harmony. Others had to use the Gate of Manifesting Virtues and Gate of Moral Standards. You could pay attention to the following before you continue to visit the Hall of Supreme Harmony:
1) The Supreme Harmony Square ( 1 million square meter)
2) The Golden Water River with five marble bridges span the river. The emperor would only walk on the central bridge.
3) Gate of Manifesting Virtues is on the East side of the Gate. ( 照德门，Zhao De Men)
4) Gate of Moral Standards in on the West side of the Gate. ( 贞度门，Zhen Du Men)
5) A pair of bronze lions. A male lion playing with ball to symbolize the imperial power and state unity is located on the left. A female lion underneath its left front claws is a cub to symbolize the thriving off spring and perpetual imperial succession. They are the biggest pair of lion in the Forbidden City.
NEXT: Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Hall)
In Chinese: 太和门 (Tai He Men)
The Gate of Supreme Harmony, known as Taiheman, is the second major gate you'll come to when walking through the Forbidden City from the south. It is flanked by two minor gates, Zhendu Gate to the west and Zhaode Gate to the east. This gate and the Meridian Gate form the north and south boundaries of a great plaza (Shi Zi) that is divided by a serpentine waterway spanned by the "Golden River Bridges".
Tai He Men or Gate of Supreme Harmony is the front gate of the outer court of the Forbidden City. The gate was originally built during the Ming Dynasty, when it was called Fengtianmen. Following the Qing or Manchu conquest of China in the 1600's, the gate was given its present Chinese and Manchu name.This gate and the Meridian Gate form the north and south boundaries of a great plaza (Shi Zi) that is divided by a serpentine waterway spanned by the "Golden River Bridges". On the north side of the gate is Harmony Square and the entrance to the grand Hall of Supreme Harmony.The central stairway was reserved exclusively for the Emperor and his immediate attendants, as was the central entrance of Meridian Gate.
The Gate of Supreme Harmony (or Taihemen) is located just inside the Palace complex from Meridian Gate, with a vast courtyard separating the two gates. You have to cross the Golden Water Stream (or Jinshui He) to get to Taihemen and there is a choice of 5 marble bridges. In imperial times, which bridge you used depended on your status and job.
To get a ticket it is a matter of pushing as the Chinese have no discipline at all, they do not know the art of queuing. But then as being a Western you are bigger then most Chinese, so finally you just push them aside. This is maybe not the gentlest way . . . in the beginning they just push you aside, and after a while you just push back.
Once you have obtained your entrance ticket to enter the Forbidden City, you can pass via the ticket control.
Once you passed the ticket control, you arrive at a big courtyard, and on the other side you see a big building; the Supreme Harmony gate (taihemen).
My guide told me that at this big courtyard there was place for at least 10.000 people.