The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City, built in 1420s during the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty, which is used to serve as the exclusive working and residential area for 25 feudal emperors in both Ming and Qing Dynasties, has been standing there for almost 600 years. It is the largest man-made palace in the world today with the coverage of area over 72 hectares (280 acres) which is rectangular in shape, 961 meters (3000 feet) long from the south to north and 753 (2200 feet) meters wide from east to west. It is 473 times larger than the White House in U.S.

Hall of Supreme Harmony, Palace MuseumHall of Complete Harmony, Palace Museum


Known as its grandeur, the Forbidden City was called the Purple Forbidden City, for all the emperors believed that they were the Sons of Heaven and the imperial residence was the cosmic center, so it should be off-limits for the common people. Moreover, the Forbidden City, lying in the center of Beijing, represented the purple constellation, the brightest one in the upper culmination of the universe. That’s why the name, the Purple Forbidden City, is called.

Golden water bridge, Palace MuseumThe construction of the Forbidden City is definitely a miracle, it should be no doubt to make the Chinese feel proud, because when the Forbidden City was completed, it was about 70 years before Columbus discovered the American Continent and about 140 years before the birth of William Shakespeare, the great British play writer. From 1406 to 1420, during the reign of emperor Yongle, the 3rd of the Ming Dynasty, more than 1,000,000 workers including 100,000 artisans got involved in this grand construction. It is amazingly efficient that it had taken 11 years for the collection of the material, such as the timbers for the columns, white marble for balustrades, golden bricks for the ground and glazed-tiles making, but only 3 years for the completion of the entire marvelous palace.

The Wall of the Palace MuseumOne must be wondering how many rooms the Forbidden City accommodates. You may easily find this number through all resources from the internet or different reading materials, 9999.5. It is said that one has to spend 27 years to finish staying in each room for each night. But according to today’s strict concept of what room is, the number is about 8700, but no one wants to remember that.

Inside the Hall of Suprem Harmony, Palace Museum

The division line, where visitors can see the great marble carving of nine dragons and one of the actual spots for the scene of the movie, Last Emperor, separates the Forbidden City into tow major parts, the outer-court and the inner-court. The out-court, known as the administrative area, are composed of three main big halls on the middle axis, the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Complete Harmony and the Hall of Preserving Harmony. All three names are related to the word, harmony, and one can learn and judge how important it was to maintain harmony when the emperors administrated and handled the states affairs in the past. While the inner-court, which also highlights the 3 main halls on the middle axis, known as the Hall of Heaven Purity, the Hall of Union and the Hall of Earthly Tranquility which are symbolizing the union of Ying and Yang (female and male) with implicative expression of Chinese family value, fertility. Besides the main halls on the middle axis, more than 980 sets of the constructions and nearly 100 different parts of the courtyards are all over the palace itself, they not only serve to highlight the main ones along the central line, but also make a perfect compensation to the layout of the Forbidden City and enhance its grandeur and solemnity.


Hall of Character Cultivation, Palace MuseumThe North Gate to inside

The last host of the Forbidden City was Puyi, who was also known as the last emperor inChina feudal society, was banished out of the Forbidden City in 1923, and 1 year later, the government by then changed the name of the Forbidden City to the Palace Museum, which became no long forbidden to the common people and the visitor can see its new name on the north gate (the Gate of Divine Military Genius) written by the famous scholar Mr. Guo moruo.

crowds Palace MuseumThe Chinese government began the largest-scale renovation of the Forbidden City in 2004 and expected the completion by 2024 for its 100 year anniversary as Palace Museum. For those who come to visit the Forbidden City during these years will definitely deserve a big appreciation, because the fund raised for the Forbidden City mainly relies on the admission fee.

The Forbidden City, from 2018, Jan.1st will not have the ticket counters available for the visitors. And every visitor has to go and get the ticket on line, but unfortunately, this is not westerners friendly, Juicertrip will be happy to cater the online ticket booking service as long as you contact us at 7 working days ahead.


    • Mark Xu

      David sells a lot of Apps I think, I heard he was going to make an all-in-one app for Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. Very much looking forward to that.

  1. Jenny Yip

    Hi everyone, I just finishing reading this. Marvelous history and great article, I shared it to my Facebook

    • Steven Leung

      I shared it too. Where is Lisa today? She has been very active these days. Good comrade.:)

  2. Pingback: Once again, it's called Forbidden City-60 pictures you might never see - Juicertrip | Juicertrip

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