The Forbidden City.

On July 19, 2012, in Beijing, Forbidden City, Must-sees, by Jack Li

When you are Traveling to Beijing there are certain places that are unavoidable and one of these places is the Forbidden City, next to the Tiananmen Square and an important point on your Beijing tour.

The Forbidden City was initially an imperial palace for the Ming and the Qing dynasties, it was built in 1420 and it has 980 buildings, who served as imperial residence and political courts, and one of its peculiarities is that all these buildings are surrounded by a moat who is 52 meters wide and 6 meters deep, you can only enter to the Forbidden City by four doors, and the only ones that are accessible to the public now are the Meridian Gate (next to Tiananmen and the main entrance) and the Gate of Divine Might (next to the Jingsang park that was built with the debris of the moat construction).

The City has a rectangular form and a spectacular tower at every corner and that is the most visible thing that you can see from the corners, the only thing that is higher than the moat and they have been built in inspiration of ancient paintings recreating palaces.

When you enter to the Forbidden City by the Meridian Gate you arrive at the exterior Court and you have to cross the Gate of the Supreme Harmony to get to the real Court, the Central Harmony, this court is the biggest and the most important in the Chinese politics, it was there where all the decisions were made and also the weddings and investitures.

Behind this hall there is the Hall of Central peace, where the emperor prepared himself for the ceremonies, after you pass this point you are in the inner Court, that’s where the emperor lived and it’s distinguished from the exterior by the amount of “nature” that you can find there.

Beyond this point you enter in a human-made forest/garden that holds lots of palaces and halls (some of them are accessible to the public) and each one of these hold a practical function in the emperor’s life.

Each building has its own symbolism and they are constructed by the “Classic of Rites” a way of building that says that each

But the Forbidden City is not just a place to see different buildings; it also holds a museum where you can see a large collection of different types of objects that were part of the Qing dynasty, these objects include the largest collection of Chinese ceramics in Beijing, up to 50,000 paintings, jade objects and palace artifacts such as daily life objects or ceremonial and bureaucratic items.

The Forbidden City was impossible to be visited by foreigners during the Imperial Era but now you can visit it, so don’t miss the opportunity and spend a good day there in your Beijing Tour! Then you can visit Tiananmen Square and/or the Jingsang Park which are next to the Forbidden City so you don’t even have to worry about the transportation!

Jack Li
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