Forbidden City - Meridian Gate, Beijing
This is the south gate leading into the Forbidden City.
Be sure to by tickets here if you want to explore the palace inside the mighy walls. For there are also tickets by the Gate of Heavenly Peace, but those are just for the upper level of that gate and not for the Forbidden City itself.
This gate was only used by the emperor. Other people with buissnes here used other gates. The military for example used the west gate by the Hall of Military Prowness.
This gate, built in 1420, marks the main entrance into the Forbidden City and where you have to pay in order gain entry into the palace complex. It's the largest gate within the complex and features five arches, the central one was formerly reserved for the Emperor alone; the exceptions were the Empress, who could enter it once on the day of her wedding, and the top three scholars of the triennial civil service examinations, who left the exams through the central arch. All other officials and servants had to use the four side arches.
Above the arches are a series of buildings. The central one is the palace of nine bays wide, with double roofs. In each side, the 13 bays-wide building, single roof, connects the two pavilions on the top. The Emperor of China reviewed his troops from this location during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Its superstructure is also called the "Five Phoenix Turrets" because it is composed of five buildings.
This is the main gate to the Forbidden City and is over 35 metres high. The Emperor had exclusive use of the central arch to enter the Forbidden City and an Empress was only allowed to use this arch once – on her wedding day.
Also, the three finalists achieving the highest awards in the national examinations were able to come through this archway after being interviewed by the Emperor.
The entrance to the Forbidden City is one of the two best known images of China - the big red wall with Mao's picture (the other is the wall, of course!). That image makes part of Tiananmen square, and it is not followed inside.
It's a strange sensation crossing that door - we feel like crossing history, like really entering a forbidden world.
The Meridian Gate is the main south entrance to the Forbidden City. This should be the starting point to see the Forbidden City. It is the tallest building in the Forbidden City with maximum 38-meters height. This "U" shape tower comes with five skirt-roof towers covered with yellow glazed titles. The five towers are called " Five Pavilion Tower". There were major emperor's ceremonies held here including the receiving of the captives of war, and issuing the official lunar calender. This was the gate used by local officials entered the Forbidden City to offer the clay cattle and decorative memorial archways, which represent spring ploughing, to the emperor, empress and empress dowager.
The Hall for the gate is used as local Art Gallery.
NEXT: Hall of Martial Valor (Wuyin Hall)
In Chinese: 午门 (Wu Men)
the Meridian gate is the actual southern entrance to the forbidden city proper, not the Tiananmen gate ok. It has five arches. The three central arches are close together; the two flanking arches are farther apart from the three central arches. The center arch was formerly reserved for the Emperor alone; the exceptions were the Empress, who could enter it once on the day of her wedding, and the top three scholars of the triennial civil service examinations, who left the exams through the central arch. All other officials and servants had to use the four side arches. Behind it is the Tiananmen Gate, the principal entrance to the imperial palace grounds.
Wumen is the southern entrance of the Forbidden City. It is the most imposing of the entrances and is the main gate to the Forbidden City. Everyone who entered the Forbidden City had to observe strict rules concerning the use of the Meridian Gate. The central arch was for the exclusive use of the emperor. Ordinary people were forbidden to enter the city.
The Meridian Gate inside the Forbidden City is a part of the world heritage site of China and one of the places i visited during my stay in Beijing.