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Forbidden City

(Curiosities)

City: Bejing


Information

The Forbidden City was built between 1406 and 1420 under Ming Emperor Yongle, and served as the imperial palace for the Ming and Qing dynasties. Ming Emperor Zhudi was the first emperor to live there. It is 3,150 feet long from north to south and 2,460 feet wide from east to west. It has 9,900 rooms and halls containing many precious relics. A 170-foot wide moat encircles the Forbidden City along with 32-foot high walls. There are four entrances, the Meridian Gate to the south, the Shenwu Gate (Gate of Military Prowess) to the north, the Xihua Gate (Western Flowery Gate) to the west, and the Donghua Gate (Eastern Flowery Gate) to the east.

The word "forbidden" is quite literal, as the imperial palace was heavily guarded and off-limits to ordinary people. As the residence for emperors and their families, most of the walls of the imperial palace were painted red and roofs were covered with yellow glazed tiles. The red and yellow combination forms a strong color contrast, representing the absolute authority, supremacy, and richness of feudal emperors. In 1987, UNESCO also listed the Forbidden City in the World Heritage List. It is the largest palace in the world.

Forbidden City on the map of Bejing

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