The Forbidden City was the Chinese Imperial palace from the mid-Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China. It now houses the Palace Museum.
The complex consists of 800 buildings with 8,886 rooms. It covers 720,000 squaremetres. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 as the "Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties", and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
Covering an area of 2,377 square meters, the Hall of Supreme Harmony is the biggest and most important piece of architecture in the Forbidden City.
The Hall of Central Harmony is located the back of thetaihetemple. Where the emperor to take a break before the ceremony and do a pre-exercise.
The Hall of Preserving Harmony was also first built in 1420.It was used for different functions throughout history, such as Chinese New Year banquets and royal weddings.
午门 Meridian Gate
太和门 Gate of Supreme Harmony
乾清门 Gate of Heavenly Purity
神武门 Gate of Divine Prowess
东华门 East Prosperity Gate
太和殿 Hall of Supreme Harmony
中和殿 Hall of Central Harmony
保和殿 Hall of Preserving Harmony
养心殿 Hall of Mental Cultivation
交泰殿 Hall of Union
中正殿 Hall of Rectitude
奉先殿 Hall of Ancestral Worship
武英殿 Hall of Martial Valor
皇极殿 Hall of Imperial Zenith
乾清宫 Palace of Heavenly Purity
坤宁宫 Palace of Earthly Tranquility
翊坤宫 Palace of Earthly Honor
永和宫 Palace of Eternal Harmony
慈宁宫 Palace of Compassion and Tranquility
永寿宫 Palace of Eternal Longevity
钟翠宫 Palace of Accumulated Purity
景仁宫 Palace of Great Benevolence
储秀宫 Palace of Gathered Elegance
宁寿宫 Palace of Tranquil Longevity
咸福宫 Palace of Universal Happiness
寿康宫 Palace of Longevity and Health
This is the palace museum; also know as the Purple Forbidden City. It is the largest and most well reserved imperial residence in China today. Under Ming Emperor Yongle死亡照相术 , construction began in 1406. It took 14years to build the Forbidden City. The first ruler who actually lived here was Ming Emperor Zhudi. For five centuries thereafter, it continued to be the residence of23 successive emperors until 1911 when Qing Emperor Puyi was forced to abdicate the throne .In 1987, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recognized the Forbidden City was a world cultural legacy.
It is believed that the Palace Museum, or Zi Jin Cheng (Purple Forbidden City), got its name from astronomy folklore, The ancient astronomers divided the constellations into groups and centered them around the Ziwei Yuan(North Star). The constellation containing the North Star was called the Constellation of Heavenly God and star itself was called the purple palace. Because the emperor was supposedly the son of the heavenly gods, his central and dominant position would be further highlighted the use of the word purple in the name of his residence. In folklore, the term ”an eastern purple cloud is drifting” became a metaphor for auspicious events after a purple cloud was seen drifting eastward immediately before the arrival of an ancient philosopher,LaoZi, to theHanghuPass. Here, purple is associated with auspicious developments. The word jin (forbidden) is self-explanatory as the imperial palace was heavily guarded and off-explanatory as the imperial palace was heavily guarded and off-limits to ordinary people.
The red and yellow used on the palace walls and roofs are also symbolic. Red represents happiness, good fortune and wealth. Yellow is the color of the earth on the Loess Plateau, the original home of the Chinese people. Yellow became an imperial color during the Tangdynasty,when only members of the royal family were allowed to wear it and use it in their architecture.
The Forbidden City is rectangular in shape. It is 960 meters long from north to south and 750meterwide fromeastwest. It has 9,900rooms undera total roof area 150,000 squaremeters .A 52-meter-wide-moat encircles a 9.9-meter—high wall which encloses the complex. Octagon —shaped turrets rest on the four corners of the wall. There are four entrances into the city: the Meridian Gate to the south, the Shenwu Gate(Gate of Military Prowess) to the north, and theXihuaGate(Gate of military Prowess) to the north, and theXihuaGate(Western Flowery Gate )to the west ,the Donghua (Eastern Flowery Gate) to the east
Manpower and materials throughout the country were used to build the Forbidden City. A total of 230,000 artisans and one million laborers were employed. Marble was quarried fromfangshanCountry Mount Pan in Jixian County in Hebei Province. Granite was quarried in Quyang County in Hebei Province. Paving blocks were fired in kilns in Suzhou in southern China. Bricks and scarlet pigmentation used on the palatial walls came fromlinqingin Shandong Province .Timber was cut ,processed and hauled from the northwestern and southern regions
The structure in front of us is the Meridian Gate. It is the main entrance to the forbidden City. Itis also knowsas Wufenglou(Five-Phoenix Tower). Ming emperors held lavish banquets here on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar year inhornorof theircounties .They also used this place for punishingofficalsby flogging them with sticks.
Qing emperors used this building to announce the beginning of the new year. Qing Emperor Qianglong changed the original name of this announcement ceremony from ban li(announcement ofcalendar)to banshou(announcement ofnewmoon )to avoidcoincidentalassociation with another Emperor` s name, Hongli, which was considered a taboo at that time. Qing Dynasty emperors also used this place to holdaudienceand for other important ceremonies. Forexample,whenthe imperial army returned victoriously from the battlefield,itwas here that the Emperor presided over the ceremony to accept prisoners of war
After entering the Meridian Gate and standing in front of the Five Marble Bridges on Golden Water River
now we are inside the Forbidden City.Before we start our tour, I would like to briefly introduce you to the architectural patternsbefourus .To complete this solemn, magnificent and palatial complex, a variety of buildings were arranged on a north-south axis, and 8-kilometer-long invisible line that has become an inseparable part of the City of Beijing. The Forbidden City covers roughly one –third of this central axis. Most of the important building in the Forbidden Citywereearranged along this line. The design and arrangement of the palaces reflect the solemn dignity of the royal court and rigidly –stratified feudal system.
故宫分外朝内廷。现在我们在外朝的最南端正，滁州市教育局 前面是太和门。门前有一对青铜狮子，威严，凶悍，成了门前桥头的守卫者，象征着权力与尊严。皇帝贵为天子，门前的狮子自然最精美，最高大了。东边立的为雄狮，前爪下有一只幼狮，象征皇权永存，千秋万代。我们眼前的这条小河，叫金水河，起装饰和防水之用。河上五座桥象征孔子所提倡的五德：仁、义、礼、智、信川南人才网 。整条河外观象支弓，中轴线就是箭，这表明皇帝受命于天，代天帝治理国家。
The Forbidden City is divided into an outer and an inner count.We are now standing on the southernmost part of the outer count. In front of us lies the Gate of supremeHarmony .The gate is guarded by a pair of bronze lions ,symbolizing imperial power and dignity. The lions were the most exquisite and biggest of its kind. The one on the east playing with a ball is a male, and ball is said to represent state unity. The other one is a female. Underneath one of its fore claws is a cub that is considered to be a symbol of perpetual imperial succession. The winding brook before us is the Golden Water River. It functions both as decoration and fire control .The five bridges spanning the river represent the five virtues preached by Confucius :benevolence, righteousness, rites,intellenceand fidelity. The river takes the shape of a bow and the north-south axis is its arrow. This was meant to show that the Emperors ruled the country on behalf of God.
(In front of the Gate of Supreme Harmony)
The Forbidden City consists of an outercountyardand an inner enclosure. The out count yard covers a vast space lying between the Meridian Gate and the Gate of Heavenly Purity. The “three big halls” of Supreme Harmony, Complete Harmony and Preserving Harmony constitute the center of this building group. Flanking them in bilateral symmetry are two groups of palaces: Wenhua (Prominent Scholars) and Wuying (Brave Warriors) . The three great halls are built on a spacious “H”-shaped, 8-meter-high, triple marble terrace, Each level of the triple terrace is taller than the on below and all are encircled by marble balustrades carved with dragon and phoenix designs. There are three carved stone staircases linking the three architectures .The hall of supreme Harmony is also the tallest and most exquisite ancient wooden-structured mansion in all of China. From the palace of HeavenlyPurithnorthward is what is known as the inner court, which is also built in bilaterally symmetrical patterns. In the center are the Palace of Heavenly Purity, the Hall of Union and Peace and Palace of Earthly Tranquility, a place where the Emperors lived with their families and attended to state affairs. Flanking these structures are palaces and halls in which concubines and princes lived. There are also three botanical gardens within the inner count, namely, the imperial Garden, Caning garden and Quailing garden. An inner Golden Water River flows eastwardly within the inner court. The brook winds through three minor halls or palaces and leads out of the Forbidden City. It is spanned by the White Jade Bridge. The river is lined with winding, marble –carved balustrades. Most of the structures within the Forbidden City have yellow glazed tile roofs.
Aside from giving prominence to the north-south axis, other architectural methods were applied to make every group of palatial structures unique in terms of terraces, roofs, mythical monsters perching on the roofs and colored, drawing patterns. With these, the grand contour and different hierarchic spectrum of the complex were strengthened. Folklore has it that there are altogether 9,999 room-units in the Forbidden City. Since Paradise only has 10,000 rooms, the Son of Heaven on earth cut the number by half a room. It is also rumoured that this half –room is located to the west of the Wenyuange Pavilion (imperial library). As a matter of fact, although the Forbidden City has more than 9,000 room-units, this half-room is nonexistent .The Wenyuange Pavilion is a library where “Si Ku Quan Shu”- China `s first comprehensive anthology-was stored.
After walking past the Gate of Supreme Harmony)
Ladies and Gentlemen, the great hall we are approachingisthe Hall of Supreme Harmony, the biggest and tallest of its king in the Forbidden City. This structure covers a total building space of 2,377 squaremeters,and isknowfor its upturned, multiple counterparteaves .The Hall of Supreme Harmony sits on a triple “H”-shaped marble terrace the is 8meters high and linked by staircases. The staircase on the ground floor has 21 steps while the middle and upper stairways each have 9
The construction of the Hall of Supreme Harmony began in 1406. It burned down three times and was severely damaged once during a mutiny. The existing architecture was built during the Qing Dynasty. On the corners of the eaves a line of animal-nails were usually fastened to the tiles. These animal-nails were later replace with mythical animals to ward off evil spirits. There are altogether 9 such fasteners on top of this hall. The number nine was regarded by the ancients to be the largest numeral accessible to man and to which only the emperors were entitled
There was a total of 24 successive emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties who were enthroned here. The ball was also used for ceremonies which marked other great occasions: the Winter Solstice, The Chinese Lunar New Year, the Emperor` s birthday, conferral of the title of empress, the announcement of new laws and policies, and dispatches of generals towar .On such occasions, the Emperor would holdaudiencefor his court officials and receive their tributes.
This area is called the Hall of Supreme Harmony Square, which covers a total of 30,000 square meters, Without a single tree or plant growing here, this place inspires visitors to feel its solemnity and grandeur. In the middle of the square there is a carriageway that was reserved for the Emperor. On both sides of the road the groud bricks were laid in a special way seven layers lengthwise and eight layers crosswise, making up fifteen layers in all. The purpose of this was to prevent anyone from tunneling his way into the palace. In the countyard there are iron vats for storing water to fight fires. In the whole complex there arealtogher308 water vats. In wintertime, charcoal was burned underneath the vats to keep the water from freezing .Why so vast a square? It was designed to impress people with the hall` s grandeur and vastness. Imagine the following scene. Under the clear blue sky, the yellow glazed tiles shimmered as the cloud-like layers of terrace, coupled with the curling veil of burning incense, transformed the hall of supreme Harmony into a fairyland. Whenever major ceremonies were held, the glazed, crane-shaped candleholders inside the hall would be it, and incense and pine branches burnt in front of the hall. When the Emperor appeared李素晶, drums were beaten and musical instrument played. Civilian officials and generals would kneel know in submission.
The last Qing emperor Puyi assumed the throne in 1908, at the age of three, His father carried him to the throne. At the start of the coronation, the sudden drum-beating and loud music caught the young emperor unprepared. He was so scared that he kept crying and shouting, “I don't want to stay here. I want to go home.” His father tried to soothe him, saying, “It'll all soon be finished. It'll all soon be finished” The ministers present at the event considered this incident inauspicious. Coincidentally, the Qing dynasty collapsed three years later and there with concluded China’s feudal system that had lasted for more than 2,000 years.
On the stone terrace of the Hall of Supreme Harmony
This is a bronze incense burner. In it incense made of sandalwood would be burnt on important occasions. There are altogether 18 incense burners, representing all of the provinces under the rule of the Sing monarchs. On either side of the Hall, 4 bronze water-filled vats were placed in case of fire. Next to the terrace on either side, there is a bronze crane and tortoise, symbols of longevity. This copper-cast grain measure is called “jialiang.” It served as the national standard during the Qing dynasty. It was meant to show that the imperial ruler were just and open to rectification. On the other side there is a stone sundial, an ancient timepiece. Thejialiangand the sundial were probably meant to show what the Emperor represented: that he was the only person who should possess the standards of both measure and time
In the very forefront of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, there are 12 scarlet, round pillars supporting the roof. The hall is 63 meters from east to west and 37 meters from north to south. It is 35 meters in height. In front of this architecture, there stands a triple terrace with five staircases leading up to the main entrance. It has 40 gold doors and 16 gold-key windows with colored drawings on the pillars and beams. In the middle of the hall, a throne carved with 9 dragons sits on a 2-meter-high platform. Behind the throne there is a golden screen and in front of it, there is an imperial desk. The flanks are decorated with elephants, Luduan (a legendary beast), cranes, and incense barrels. The elephant carries a vase on its back that holds five cereals (i. e. rice, two kinds In the very forefront of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, there are 12 scarlet, round pillars supporting the roof. The hall is 63 meters from east to west and 37 meters from north to south. It is 35 meters in height. In front of this architecture, there stands a triple terrace with five staircases leading up to the main entrance. It has 40 gold doors and 16 gold-key windows with colored drawings on the pillars and beams. In the middle of the hall, a throne carved with 9 dragons sits on a 2-meter-high platform. Behind the throne there is a golden screen and in front of it, there is an imperial desk. The flanks are decorated with elephants, Luduan (a legendary beast), cranes, and incense barrels. The elephant carries a vase on its back that holds five cereals (i. e. rice, two kinds
The Hall of Supreme Harmony is also popularly known as Jinluan Dian (gold bell hall or the throne hall). The floor of the hall is laid with bricks that turn it into a smooth, fine surface as if water has been sprinkled on it. The so-called golden brick邓讴歌 , in fact, has nothing to do with gold. Reserved exclusively for the construction of the royal court, it was made in a secretive, and complex way, and, when struck, sounds like the clink of a gold bar. Each brick was worth the market price of one dan (or one hectoliter) ofric
The hall is supported by a total of 72 thick pillars. Of these, 6 are carved in dragon patterns and painted with gold and surround the throne. Above the very center of this hall there is azaojing, or covered ceiling, which is one of the Specialities of China's ancient architecture. In the middle of the ceiling is a design of a dragon playing with a ball inlaid with peals. This copper ball, hollow inside and covered with mercury, is known as the Xuanyuan Mirror and is thought to be made Xuanyuan, a legendary monarch dating back to remote antiquity. The placing of the caisson above the throne is meant to suggest that all of China's successive emperors are Zuanyuan's descendants and hereditary heirs. Now you might have noticed that the Xuanyuan mirror is not directly above the throne. Why? It is rumored that Yuan Shikai, a self-acclaimed warlord-turned emperor moved the throne further back because he was afraid that the mirror might fall on him. In 1916 when Yuan Shikai became emperor, he removed the original throne with a Western-style, high-back chair. After the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949 the throne was found in a shabby furniture warehouse. It repaired and returned to the hall
(Leading the tourist to the bronze vats either on the east or the west)
the water vats in front of the palaces or house were called “menhai,” or sea before the door by the ancient Chinese. They believed that with a sea by the door,firecould not wreak havoc. The vats served both as a decoration and as a fire extinguisher. They were kept full of water all year round.
During the Qing Dynasty, they were altogether 308 vats in the palace enclosure. They were made of gilt bronze or iron. Of course, the gilt bronze vats were of the best quality. When the allied forces (Britain, Germany, France, Russia, the United States, Italy, Japan and Austria) invaded Beijing in 1900 under the pretext of suppressing the Boxer Rebellion, the invaders ransacked the imperial compound and scraped and gold off the vats with their bayonets. During the Japanese occupation of Beijing, many vats were trucked away by the Japanese to be made into bullets
In front of the Hall of Complete Harmony
The square architecture before us is called the Hall of Complete Harmony. It served as an antechamber. The Emperor came here to meet with hiscountiersand add his final touches to the prayers which would be read at the ancestral Temple. The seeds, snowers and prayer intended for spring sowing were also examined here. The two Qing sedan chairs here on display were used for traveling within the palace during the reign of Emperor Qianlong.