The Forbidden City

Thursday, January 12, 2023

The Forbidden City, 故宫, gu gong

The Forbidden City was listed as a world cultural heritage by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 1987.

The Forbidden City, also known as the Forbidden City, is the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The Forbidden City is the largest and most complete ancient wooden structure building complex in the world and the largest and most complete ancient building complex in China. It was built in the fourth year of Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1406 AD), which took 14 years to complete. A total of 24 emperors successively ascended the throne here.

The Forbidden City, an unparalleled masterpiece of ancient architecture, covers an area of more than 720000 square meters and has more than 9000 palaces. All of them are wood structures, yellow glazed tile roofs, blue and white stone bases, decorated with resplendent color paintings. These palaces are arranged along a north-south central axis and spread on both sides. They are straight from north to South and symmetrical from left to right. This central axis not only runs through the Forbidden City, but also reaches the Yongding gate in the south, the drum tower and bell tower in the north, and runs through the whole city. It is magnificent, well planned and extremely spectacular. Architects believe that the design and architecture of the Forbidden City is really an unparalleled masterpiece. Its plane layout, three-dimensional effect, as well as the majestic, magnificent, solemn and harmonious form can be said to be rare in the world. It marks the long cultural tradition of our motherland and shows the outstanding achievements of craftsmen in architecture more than 500 years ago.

Remarkable three halls

The most attractive buildings in the Forbidden City are the three main halls: Taihe hall, Zhonghe hall and Baohe hall. They are all built on an 8-meter-high platform made of white marble, which looks like the fairy que of Qiong palace in the myth. The first hall, Taihe hall, is the most magnificent building, commonly known as "Jinluan hall". It is the place where the emperor held the grand ceremony. The hall is 28 meters high, 63 meters from east to west, 35 meters from north to south. There are 92 large columns with a diameter of 1 meter, of which 6 round the throne are painted dragon columns. The throne is located on the platform 2 meters high in the hall. In front of it are beautiful cranes, furnaces and tripods, and behind it are exquisitely carved screens. The whole hall is decorated resplendently, solemn and gorgeous. The hall of harmony is the place where the emperor takes a short rest and exercises etiquette before the grand ceremony in the hall of supreme harmony. Baohe hall is a place where the emperor gives banquets to foreign vassal princes every new year's Eve.

Inner court full of vitality

To visit the Forbidden City, one is to enjoy the rich and colorful architectural art; Second, watch the precious cultural relics displayed indoors. There are a large number of precious cultural relics in the Palace Museum. According to statistics, there are a total of 1052653 cultural relics, collectively known as 1 million cultural relics, accounting for 1 / 6 of the total number of cultural relics in China, many of which are unique national treasures. In several palaces, art galleries, treasure galleries and watch galleries have been set up. Art lovers often can't bear to leave in front of these unparalleled works of art for a long time. The treasure hall on the East Road of the Forbidden City displays all kinds of rare treasures. Such as a set of Qing Dynasty gold and silver bead cloud dragon pattern armor, which is wrapped with 16 dragons, with vivid shape and interspersed among the clouds. The armor is connected with about 600000 small steel sheets. Each steel sheet is about 1mm thick, 4mm long and 1.5mm wide. Small holes are drilled for threading and connection. It is said that more than 40000 man hours were used to make this suit of armor.

Collect 1 million cultural relics

The second half of the Palace Museum is called the inner court, centered on the Qianqing palace, the Jiaotai palace and the Kunning palace and six Eastern and six Western palaces on the East and West wings, it is the place where the emperor works and his concubine lives on weekdays. The architectural style of the second half is the same as that of the first half. The image of the first half of the building is serious, solemn, magnificent and majestic, symbolizing the supremacy of the emperor. The second half of the inner court is full of life. Most of the buildings are self-contained courtyards, including gardens, study rooms, pavilions, mountains and stones, etc. To the north of Kunning palace is the imperial garden. There are towering pines and cypresses, precious flowers and trees, rocks and pavilions in the imperial garden. The two pavilions, called Wanchun Pavilion and Qianqiu Pavilion, can be said to be the most gorgeous of the ancient pavilions preserved at present.

Tourism services

To visit the Forbidden City, you can enter from Tiananmen Gate or Shenwu gate, the back door. Enter Tiananmen Square, pass through a square paved with green bricks, and then reach the Meridian Gate, the main gate of the Forbidden City. Here, the city wall is tall and the gate tower is towering and spectacular, which gives people a sense of incomparable majesty and makes the people standing here feel small. This is the most prominent example of ancient rulers using architectural art to serve to enhance their imperial deterrence. Through the Meridian Gate, there is another big square, on which there is a Jinshui bridge. Crossing the bridge and passing through the Taihe gate is the magnificent Taihe hall. From a high point of view, the Jinshui bridge and the Yuhe river flowing through the square are just like a huge bow. Pass through Taihe hall, Zhonghe hall and Baohe hall, pass through Qianqing gate and enter the inner court. The inner court is divided into three routes: Middle Road, East Road and West Road. If it is a half day tour, you can only choose one of the three routes, and you can generally take the middle route. On the Middle Road, you can see the emperor's bedroom (Qianqing Palace), the place where the emperor's seal is placed (Jiaotai Hall), the emperor's new house for marriage (Kunning Palace), the place where the concubines live (some of which have been set up as exhibition halls) and the Imperial garden. Generally speaking, it's hard to spend half a day visiting the Forbidden City. It is better to arrange a one-day tour. If you have time and want to see more carefully, you can arrange a two-day tour.

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