Forbidden City was begun to take place. The overall construction of the Forbidden City had lasted for about 15 years. Upon year 1420, this huge and magnificent palace which becomes one of the top destinations with the highest cultural value in China was accomplished.
Ever since the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC), the emperors used to call their palaces as Zigong, which carried the meaning of the residential place of the emperors. Zigong is actually one of the branches of Chinese astrology which is commonly used in Chinese Lunar Calendar. Zigong is also known as Ziheng and Ziweigong which means the overall 15 stars which surround the North Star. The ancient Chinese believe that the emperors were God who was dispatched by the Heaven to rule the world. Since the North Star is always remained its position on the North and would never moves, so, the Polaris is also named as the Emperor Star. For the same reason, Zigong as the surrounding celestial region which it belongs to was used as the name for the earthly counterpart of the emperor in the world to highlight the solemn and sacred of the emperors.
During the early age of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Nanjing was the capital of the nation. However, when Emperor Zhu Di decided to transfer the capital of Ming Dynasty back to Beijing, the overall design as well as the architecture of the Forbidden City was still following the method and style of the Palace in Nanjing but even larger and glorious. Doesn’t matter if evaluated from the sense of arts or the exquisite works of the palace, the Forbidden City is no doubt to be awarded as the greatest art work throughout the Chinese architecture.
The Forbidden City was built within an area of 720 thousands square meters (72 hectares) with 961 meters length and 753 meters width. There are about 980 buildings within Forbidden City with 8,704 bays of rooms available all together. For the security purpose, you will find that the Forbidden City is surrounded by 10 meters height city wall as well as a 52 meters width city moat. Besides that, main gates are available on the four compass directions with the Forbidden City as the center. Basically the building within the Forbidden City was constructed in three vertical axes while the most important buildings are located on the central north-south axis. Along the central north-south axis of the Forbidden City lays the Tiananmen, Duan Men, Wu Men (Meridian Gate), Taihe Dian (Hall of Supreme Harmony), Zhonghe Dian (Hall of Central Harmony), Baohe Dian (Hall of Preserving Harmony), Qianqing Gong (Palace of Heavenly Purity), Jiaotai Dian (Hall of Union and Peace), Kunning Dian (Palace of Earthly Tranquility), Qinan Men and Shenwu Men (Gate of Divine Might).
The Forbidden City can be divided into two sections which is Qianchao (Front Court) or Waichao (Outer Court) at the southern part of the palace and the Neiting (Inner Court) or Houqin (Back Palace) at the northern part of the palace. The Southern part of Forbidden City is made up from Taihe Dian (Hall of Supreme Harmony), Zhonghe Dian (Hall of Central Harmony) and Baohe Dian (Hall of Preserving Harmony) on the central axis as the major buildings as well as the Wenhua Dian (Literary Glory) and Yingwu Dian (Military Eminence) on both sides of the axis. On top of that, the garden on around these buildings which shows the perfect combination of Chinese traditional architecture with long corridor, unique and typical Chinese roof designs, doors as well as the pavilion and towers have all together served as a part of the Qianchao (Front Court) or Waichao (Outer Court) of the Forbidden City. The Outer Court of the Forbidden City was the place where the emperors to receive ministers and hold court as well as the venue where important ceremonies were held.
Qianqing Gong (Palace of Heavenly Purity), Jiaotai Dian (Hall of Union & Peace), Kunning Dian (Palace of Earthly Tranquility) which located at the northern part of the palace is the major building structures that made up Neiting (Inner Court) or Houqin (Back Palace). Besides that, there are palaces on both east and west sides as the residential area for imperial concubines as well as the princes. Moreover, Cining Gong, Kangshou Gong as well as Ningshou Gong (Palace of Tranquil Longevity) have all together adding attractive colors to the overall designs of the Inner Court. In other word, Neiting (Inner Court) or Houqin (Back Palace) can be concluded as the official residences of the imperial family. Nevertheless, it also served as the important venue for religious and worshipping ceremonies as well as the place where imperial families spent for their daily livings. The overall designs of Back Palace were set in conscientious, careful and closed environments with magnificent and gorgeous architecture which thoroughly visualized the scale and style of imperial building architectures.
There was a great study in naming of all these palaces. The ancient Chinese believe that the world could be divided into two categories which are the Yin and Yang. The Chinese believe that the emperor was representing the Heavens and Yang; so the residence of the emperor was named as Qianqing Gong (Palace of Heavenly Purity). The Empress would on the other hand represent the Earth and Yin should occupy the Kunning Dian (Palace of Earthly Tranquility). Meanwhile, the Jiaotai Dian (Hall of Union) which is located in between of Palace of Heavenly Purity and Palace of Earthly Tranquility is where Yin and Yang mingled together to produce harmony.
The four city gates on each compass directions of the Forbidden City are Wu Men (Meridian Gate) on the South, Shenwu Men (Gate of Divine Might) on the north, Donghua Men (East Glorious Gate) on the East and Xihua Men (West Glorious Gate) on the West. Jiao Lou (Corner Tower) can be found at the four corners of the wall of Forbidden City. The whole Forbidden City was built in wooden materials with yellow glazed tiles as roofs and based on greenish white stone. The majestically impressive, grand, solemn, harmony which can be found through the overall landscape of the Forbidden City is rarely seen throughout the world. It is the great achievement of the ancient Chinese building architecture as well as evidence to the authority of imperial power in the history of ancient China. As similar to the other ancient imperial palaces of China, the overall building architecture as well as the scale of the Forbidden City has fully embodied the highness of the emperor’s power in ancient Chinese society.
Tours Including Forbidden City:
Tour to Tiananmen Square,Forbidden City,Jinshan Park, Summer Palace
Beijing One Day Excursion to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Great Wall
Beijing One Day Trip to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Bird's Nest
Beijing One Day Vacation to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Hutong
Tour to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Eunuch Tomb & Summer Palace
Tour to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Sacred Path,Ming Tomb
Beijing One Day Tour to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City& Summer Palace
Album of Forbidden City, Check here