Located in the center of Beijing, The Imperial Palace (the Forbidden City) is the world’s largest royal palace, as well as the most intact ancient building complex, covering an area of 720, 000 square meters, with a floor space of 150,000 square meters and always considered as the first station for Beijing Tours. When travel to Beijing, you should not miss to visit the Imperial Palace.

The construction was started in 1406 and was completed in 1420. Through500-year history,24 emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties had lived here.Even though the palace has been rebuilt and extended for many times, it keeps its original layout. The palace is dived into two parts: the Front Place(Qianting) and the Inner Palace (Neiting). The Front Palace was served as the emperor’s office to summon officials for consultation and hold important ceremonies. It is composed of the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihedian), theHall of Central Harmony (Zhonghedian) and the Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohedian). The Inner Palace includes the Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qianqinggong), the Hall of Prosperity (Jiaotaidian) and the Palace of Earthly Tranquility (Kunninggong), where emperors and empresses lived.

 

As the god and symbol of imperial power, the dragon was always used in decorative design for royalty, such as halls, walls, bridges, stone cravings, imperial jade seals, royal products, and on and on. Result: the dragon is too numerous to count. Another symbol of royal family is yellow, the dominant color in the Forbidden City. Decorations, bricks and roofs are all made yellow. However, Wenyuange, the royal library, has a black roof. Because it was believed black represented water then and could extinguish fire.

 

In 1925, the Palace Museum was established here on basis of the collections of treasures of the Ming and Qing dynasties, becoming historically and artistically one of the most comprehensive museum in China. It consists of more than 1.8 million precious cultural relics, including paintings, pottery, bronze wares, inscribed wares, toys, clocks and court documents, some of which are invaluable national treasures.

 

Although reseaches has been made for many years and attention is paid, mysterious still exist: we never know whom the designer of such a magnificent architecture was; according to the record, the rooms of the palace count 9999.5, but where locates the half one? Also, some empresses were consigned to cold palace (limbo), yet where is it? These unsolved questions give the palace an air of mystery.

 

Now taking the position of world-renowned monument and one of Beijing’s top tourist sites, the Forbidden City is well worth a visit. In 2012, it receives 180 thousand visitors for the highest one-day flow and 15 million visitors for all year round, which make it the busiest museum around the world. Since Beijing’s climate is typical continental monsoon climate characterized by hot and rainy summers, cold and dry winters, taking a tour between early April and late June is the best choice for you, not only because of the pleasant weather, but also because of the blooming flowers in the Imperial Garden.

 

Don’t hesitate, start your Beijing tours with us now!

Jack Li
 

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