The Forbidden City is a must see if you are going on a Beijing Tour. It is located in the heart of Beijing with Tiananmen Square on the south side. The Forbidden City is in a great location since it might be down the road from your Beijing hotel.

History behind the Forbidden City

Emperor Chengzu built the city during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The construction of the palace started in 1407 and finished fourteen years later in 1420. It was believed by the Chinese Astronomers that the Purple Star (Polaris) is located in the center of the heavens. Since the Emperor was a Heavenly Emperor he lived in a purple palace called the “Purple Forbidden City”.  The reason why it was called Forbidden was because the only way to get in was by being invited by the Emperor.

What you can see while you are there:

There are thousands of buildings you can see while you are visiting the City not including the many beautiful courtyards. A 52-meter wide moat and 10-meter high wall was built around the City. The city has over 8,700 rooms. While you are visiting the City you should count how many rooms you can see. The City is very big so you might get lost but isn’t that the fun of going to new places is by getting lost and finding your way back.

The grandest hall is the Hall of Supreme Harmony. This is where the emperor would ascend to visit with officials. Important events were also celebrated there. On the right side is where the princes would study. Off to the north lies the imperial library where the world largest encyclopedia (Sikuquanshu) was house.

To get to where the royal family resided you need to go under the Gate of Heavenly Purity. During the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Kangxi would meet high officials to give them his orders. The emperors also had a hall for the concubines so they had a resident. There is also imperial garden. It is a small garden but it has many beautiful effects.  It has towers that over looks it, pavilions, and artificial hills. They also created springs throughout it. The best part is that old tress can still be found there. Some of these trees are over 1,000 years old. These are only a couple of things you can see while you are walking around the Forbidden City, there is much more, so go and experience it for your self.

Just a reminder that the Forbidden City might restrain the number of passengers into the park, on such days as May Day, China National Day, and some summer holidays. The admission fee is 60RMBS and it opens at 8:30 o’clock AM and closes at 6 o-clock PM. Plan on staying for three to four hours since there is a lots to see and do. The best way to get there is by taking the Subway, on Line 1 get off at Tiananmen West or East Station. Go north through Tiananmen Tower. If you take Line 2 make sure you get off at the Qianmen Station and you will also want to walk north to the Tiananmen Tower.

So when you go on your China Tour make sure you have planned on seeing the Forbidden City. It is in the heart of Beijing, and will be the heart of your trip.

Jack Li

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