Forbidden City Beijing: Brief introduction about Forbidden City.


Forbidden City View Photos

Forbidden City in China
Interested in Chinese architecture? Our tours highlight the very best of the fascinating old styles and sensational new wave of Chinese designs. Join us to appreciate the best of China architecture

The Forbidden City situated exactly in the heart of the municipality was home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The construction of the grand palace started in the fourth year of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1406) and ended in 1420. In the ancient time, the emperor claimed to be the son of the heaven and therefore their supreme power was conferred upon them from the heaven. Their residence on the earth was built as a replica of the Purple Palace where the God lived in the Heaven. Such divine place was certain forbidden for the ordinary people and it is why the Forbidden City is so called.

The museum is a real treasures house of Chinese cultural and historical relics, recognized as one of the most important five palaces in the world (the other four are the Palace of Versailles in France, the Buckingham Palace in the UK, the White House in the US and the Kremlin in Russia). The splendid architecture of the Forbidden City represents the essence and culmination of the traditional Chinese architectural accomplishment.

In 1961 the Palace Museum was listed as one of the important historical monuments under the special preservation by the Chinese central government and in 1987, it was nominated as the world cultural heritage by the UNESCO.

The Forbidden City is the best preserved imperial palace in China and the largest ancient palatial structure in the world.

The Forbidden City covers an area of about 72 hectares with a total floor space of approximately 150, 000 square meters. It consists of 90 palaces and courtyards, 980 buildings and 8,704 rooms. To represent the supreme power of the emperor from the God and the place where the he lived being the center of the world, all the gates, palace and other structures of the Forbidden City were arranged on both sides of the south-north central axis.

Forbidden City Travel Guide

Most travelers enter the Forbidden City from the Tian'anmen Gate. Through the gate, across a expansive brick - paved square, you will reach the main entrance to the palace - Meridian Gate (Wumen in Chinese). 

Forbidden City, Beijing

The Meridian gate was the place where the Emperor announced the new lunar calendar on the Winter Solstice.  Enter the Meridian Gate, across the Golden Stream Bridge you will arrive at the outer court-the Forbidden City falls into two parts: the outer court and the inner palaces.

The outer court is made up of three main buildings, the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihedian), the Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghedian) and Bao He Dian or the Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohedian) These halls were where the emperors attended the grand ceremonies and conducted state affairs. The first hall waiting for you is the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the most important and largest structure in the Forbidden City. The emperors' Dragon Throne(Longyi) was placed at this hall. Behind the Hall of Supreme Harmony is the Hall of Central Harmony(Zhonghedian), resting place for the emperor before presenting the grand occasions held in the Hall of Supreme Harmony.

Forbidden City in Beijing, China

Emperors would rehearse their speeches and presentations here before departing to the Temple of Heaven for the sacrifice rites. The last hall is the Hall of the Preserving Harmony used for banquets and later for imperial examinations.

Out from the Hall of the Preserving Harmony, you will notice a huge marble carved with cloud and dragons design. Go straight, you will see another gate, called Gate of Heavenly Peace (Qianqingmen). This is the main gateway to the inner living court.

The inner court is composed of the rear three main structure of the Forbidden City, namely, the Palace of Heavenly Peace (Qianqinggong), Jiao Tai Dian, or the Palace of the Union and Peace and Kun Ning Gong, or the Palace of Terrestrial Tranquility. Besides the three rear main buildings are the six eastern palaces and six western palaces, where the emperor used to handle every day affairs and was the living quarters for the emperor, expresses and concubines. Those palaces, however, have been converted into exihibition halls, where a spectacular set of imperial collections is displayed.

China: The Forbidden City of Beijing

The first structure inside the inner court is the Palace of Heavenly Purity(Qianqinggong) - the emperors' sleeping place. Behind it is Palace of Union and Peace (Jiaotaidian), where the imperial seals were stored. The third hall is the Hall of Terrestrial Tranquility (Kuining Hall) - emperors' wedding room. Exiting the Hall of Terrestrial Tranquility and going further north, travelers will find the Imperial Garden. The garden offers an aesthetic change from the crimson or gray building complex to a colorful and luxuriant atmosphere. On the left side of the inner court, travelers will find the Mental Cultivation Hall (Yangxindian), the most important building except for the Hall of Supreme Harmony. From the time of the third emperor Yongzhen, all the Qing emperors, 8 in total resided in this hall. The places at the eastern and Western sides, the former residences of the concubines have been converted into exhibition halls.

Forbidden City, Beijing

The main exit gate of the Forbidden City is the Gate of Devine Might behind the Imperial Garden.

For security the Forbidden City is enclosed by a 10 meters high city wall, which has a circumference of 3, 430 meters. At each corner of the rectangular Forbidden City, there stands a magnificent watchtower, which was heavily guarded in the past. And around the outskirt of the city a moat goes as the last defense work. See Forbidden City Facts

more Forbidden City Guide



Beijing Featured Tour Packages

China's capital city, Beijing, is a must-see for visitors. As one of the great ancient capitals it is home to some of the finest remnants of China's imperial past. China Travel Agency provide a lot of tours to explore China's capital city. Here are the most popular tour packages.

Beijing Tours


- Top - or -Back to- Forbidden City