The Forbidden City 故宫

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The Forbidden City:

The architecture wonder and world-famous attraction lies in the center of Beijing north of Tiananmen Square and was home to 24 emperors in the Ming and Qing Dynasties during its five centuries of use. It is the world’s largest palace complex, covering 74 hectares surrounded by a six meter deep moat and ten meter tall walls. There are a totally of 9,999 buildings divided into outer court in the south, used by the emperor to rule over China, and the inner court in the north where the emperor’s family resided. Within these buildings, lies numerous treasures collected over the five centuries of use making this attraction a World Cultural Heritage Site since 1987. The construction of the Forbidden city took 14 years, from 1407 to 1420, and a million workers including 100,000 artisan. The building of this palace shows the ingenuity and intelligence of the Ancient Chinese. For example, the brick used were make from white lime and glutinous rice which made walls that were extraordinarily strong. The dominant color of the palace is yellow since that is color of the royal family and thus, you will see that the roofs, decoration and even the floor tiles are yellow.   It is called the “Forbidden City” because no one was allowed in or out of it.

Owing its origins to the 24 Ming and Qing dynasty emperors who worked and lived here, few of the original buildings remain. The last emperor Puyi (known in the West for the movie The last Emperor) moved out of this complex in 1925. Today only 1/3 of this palace complex is open to the public. The latest renovations, started in 2002, will soon make it possible to display almost half of the palace by the time of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The entire complex sits on a north-south axis, or meridian line, with halls and houses symmetrically arranged on the side. It consists of three parts: the outer court where the emperor received high officials and administered state affairs; the inner court where the emperor, empress and concubines lived; and the private Imperial Garden for the imperial family to entertain and relax.

Nowadays, the Forbidden City, or the Palace Museum is open to tourists from home and abroad. A visit to the Forbidden city reveal the splendor and beauty of ancient Chinese architecture and artifacts. It is truly a must-see!  
 
The northwest corner tower
 
The view of the Forbidden City from Jingshan Park
 
1. At Meridian Gate, visitors can rent a walkman guide in different languages that introduces the history and architecture of the palace. The tape and player should be returned at the north gate of the Palace Museum upon exiting.

2. Don't forget to visit the Jingshan (Coal Hill) Park, opposite to the palace's north gate. From this location can see the splendid layout of the palace.

Ticket sale: 8:00-16:00 (May-September); 8:30-15:30 (October-April);
Entry ticket: 60 yuan/person (busy season), 40 yuan/person (slow season);Some of the museums have additional charges.
How to get there: Subways: Line 1: get down at Tian'anmen East, Loop Line: get down at Qianmen; Bus No. 1, 4, 5, 10, 20, 22, 52, 57, 802; It is within walking distance from Wangfujing, Xidan or Qianmen.
Tel: 86-10-65132255

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 19 June 2009 16:16 )  

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