The third Ming Emperor, known as “Yongle,” was responsible for relocating the capital of China to Beijing in the early 1400s. In the year 1406, he started the building of his new capital. The Capital was divided into three primary areas: the Forbidden City, which was home to the Imperial Palace complex; the Imperial City, which was where the government officials lived; and the Outer City, which was located to the south of the Imperial City and was where the majority of the population resided. Although the Imperial Palace is a component of the City, the Forbidden City of China is also often referred to by two other names: Gugong and the Imperial Palace Museum. Both of these titles refer to the same location. Within the confines of these amazing city walls, both the Ming and the Qing Dynasties carried out their administrative responsibilities and made their homes.
The Forbidden Metropolis was, in fact, a city despite its eponymous moniker, which referred to the fact that it was off limits to the general populace. Across 800 structures with a total of 8,886 rooms spread out over a land area of 250 acres. The whole complex is encircled on all sides by a wall that is 32 feet high and is protected by a drainage canal that is 165 feet wide, producing a moat. The only way to get inside the city is to cross the sea and enter via one of the four gates that are there.
As a result of its status as a public museum in modern times, the Forbidden City has attracted the interest of millions of tourists from all over the globe. You will be able to get up up and personal with elements of classic architecture here, as well as marvel at the valuables that belonged to the Imperial family and the court. This wonderful historical relic may be found immediately across the street from Tiananmen Square, which is considered to be the beating heart of Beijing. Although minor entries are still available via the east and north gates, here is where the primary entry to the museum is located.
The bulk of the buildings that can be found within the walls of the Forbidden City are examples of architecture from after the 18th century. The majority of these structures are still standing strong, despite the fact that some of them have been damaged to varying degrees as a result of the Gobi winds, the Manchus, and the looting that took place in the 21st century by the Japanese and Kuomintang troops.
Five centuries have passed since the Forbidden City was first opened to the public, and throughout that period, a total of 24 Emperors from the Ming and Qing Dynasties have governed China. During these five hundred years, the Forbidden City was regarded to be “off limits” to the rest of the world, which included the people who lived in China at the time. However, all of that has changed, and now, people mill about every day through the cluster of buildings, free to appreciate the incredible designs, interesting architecture, and peaceful gardens.
You will have two options available to you when you visit the Imperial Palace. The first is a brief tour that lasts for two hours, and the second is a guided tour that lasts for the whole day and takes you through each of the chambers. Even if you choose the tour that is shorter, you will still be able to receive significant knowledge from the plaques that are placed at each piece. These plaques include historical information as well as information on the item’s significance and value.
Due to the fact that yellow is the hue that represents the royal family, you will notice that it is used rather often throughout the City. As an example, the roofs are covered with yellow glazed tiles, the embellishments inside the palace are painted yellow, and the bricks that can be found outside are yellow. The one and only place that deviates from this rule is the royal library, which is known as Wenyuange. This section of the Forbidden City has a pitch-black area that was designed to evoke the look of water. It was often thought that the water in the fountains might assist put out a fire in the palace in the event that it ever occurred. Either excursion will provide you with an unforgettable learning experience that will enrich your cultural perspective.
The Hall of Preserving Harmony in the Forbidden City is a fantastic component of this incredible structure. This room’s previous life was as a banquet hall, where powerful people would gather for meals. The stunning artwork that greets you as you approach the building is another evidence of the structure’s illustrious past. The dragons and other motifs associated with Chinese culture are intricately carved onto the stairs that go down into the main passageway.
The fact that each step was once a component of a much larger stone contributes to the stone’s mystique by making it even more interesting. Because carrying the stone in the customary method simply would not have been possible, the Chinese people were forced to get inventive in order to move the stone to the palace. Therefore, during one winter when the roads flooded and subsequently froze over, they saw their chance and took use of it. The stone was rolled down the road till it reached its destination at the Hall at the end of its journey.
The Hall of Supreme Harmony is yet another essential component of the Forbidden City. This Hall was used for hosting big meetings, including notable guest entertainment, while it was in operation. The Hall was lavishly decked up in decorations in order to show respect for these visitors. As you explore this specific structure, you will come across 308 bronze vats that are positioned at various points around the castle. In the event of a fire during the Ming and Qing dynasties, these identical vats would have been filled with water.
Within the Forbidden City, the Imperial Palace is without a doubt the most stunning building that can be found there. Each pathway is wonderfully crafted out of stone and is embellished with lovely rose gardens. You are welcome to take a break in any of the pavilions or courtyards, where you may do so while taking in the enchanting atmosphere of this potent location.
You may get a great view of Tiananmen Square by paying a little charge to climb the stairs to the top of the Tiananmen Gate. Once you reach the top, you will have this chance. You will be able to take in the same breathtaking panorama that Mao admired throughout his rule. Due to the fact that this was Mao’s preferred vantage point from which to observe the pedestrian traffic below, a humongous painting of the man now hangs there in his honour.
Everyone is familiar with the history of the Great Wall of China, but it’s unfortunate that certain sections of this incredible structure are in such terrible shape. A significant number of people are unaware of the fact that the Great Wall of China formerly served as a connection to the Forbidden City. You need to understand that the Wall was planned and built with watchtowers strategically placed along its construction the whole way. As a means of communication with the Forbidden City, smoke signals were sent from these watchtowers in the direction of the Forbidden City.
“Northern Capital” is what “Beijing” means when translated from the Chinese. There are now around 12 million people living in Beijing at this time. The majority of travellers who come to this city are often taken aback by the changes that have taken place here over the course of many centuries. The Forbidden City and Imperial Palace are only two examples of the rich history that has been preserved in this region of China so that it may be enjoyed by everyone.