The Forbidden City in center of Beijing was the royal city of the Ming and the Qing Dynasty. It is the largest and most completely preserved palace complex in the world. The Forbidden City is listed as the World’s Cultural Heritage by UNESCO and is a 5-star tourist spot in at national level.
The construction work of Forbidden City was carried out in the Ming Dynasty in 1406 and was complete in the year 1420. There were totally 24 emperors lived and worked here. Together with the Versailles in France, the Buckingham Palace in Britain, the white House in the US, and the Kremlin in Russian , they are called the five most remarkable palaces in the world.
The Forbidden City was constructed with one major axis which also is the axis of current Beijing City. The three grand palaces for emperor, the three palaces for Empress and the concubines and the royal garden are all built focusing on the axis. On flanks of the major palaces there are many less grand palaces. The palaces can be divided into two categories: the official area and the living area. The palaces in living area have Qianqing Palace (the residential palace of the Emperor), Jiaotai Palace (the shared residential place of the Emperor and the Empress), and Kunning Palace (the residential palace of the Empress) as the major axis. The two flanks are lied with residential place of other concubines of the emperor. And the concubines of different levels are arranged to leave in the different palaces or rooms of different size and layout.
Taihe Palace is the most grand existed ancient building in China, and it is also the symbol of imperial power. In the Ming and the Qing Dynasty, most of emperors had their enthronement ceremonies, their birthday party, marriage ceremonies with the Empress and the Empress conferring ceremonies held in Taihe Palace. Besides, the seeing off ceremonies for soldiers going out for battles, the yearly official banquets are also held here.
The Zhonghe Palace was originally built in 1220 in the Ming Dynasty. The present Palace was the rebuilt one which was built in the year 1627 after a big fire. Every time when holding a ceremony, the Emperor had rest here first and the officers did their worship to the Emperor on bent knees.
Baohe Palace used to be the spot the Emperor treated ducks and ministers of minor ethnicity. And in the middle and late Qing Dynasty, Baohe Palace functioned as the exam room for KEJU, the civil examination in ancient China.
To the north side of Kunning Palace is the imperial garden, the garden built exclusively for the royal family to have fun and rest. The cypress trees and pines were planted, other precious plants, artificial hills and pavilions are also spread here ans there.
Each corner of the Forbidden City wall are built with delicate designed guarding tower. The Forbidden City are circled by the 10 meters tall and 3400 meters long’s city wall and the city wall is surrounded with the 52 meters wide moat.
Now in some palaces of the Forbidden City, mini museums, art galleries, and exhibitions are explored to collectively display the court life of the Qing Dynasty.
It is said there are 9999 rooms in Forbidden City. But according to the official date, there are totally 90 courts of various sizes and 8707 rooms.
The palace structures are all built with wood roofs, yellow-colored tiles, the gray and white stone bases and are all decorated with glorious colored paintings. The Forbidden City has four gates. They are Wumen(Wu gate) to south, Donghuamen(Donghua Gate) to east, Xihuamen(Xihua Gate) to West, and Shenwumen(Shenwu Gate) to north. To the opposite side of the Shenwumen Gate stands the Jingshan Hill, an artificial hill made of earth and rocks. The Jinshan Hill is covered with pins and cypress trees. According to theory of ancient art of Fengshui, that artificial hill was made as the protective screen of the whole Forbidden City.
Since the Forbidden City was opened to tourists, the average annual visitor population are always above 6 millions. And the number keeps growing every year.