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The Palace Museum or Forbidden City

The Forbidden City or the Palace Museum is a Chinese imperial palace complex from the Ming Dynasty that ruled from 1420 to 1912, now home to the Palace Museum in downtown Beijing, China. The Forbidden City served as the emperor's home, the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese Empire for nearly 500 years and kept a complete collection of Ming and Qing dynasty art and artifacts.

The Forbidden City complex built from 1406 to 1420 covers an area of 72 hectares (180 acres) including 980 buildings as the 14 emperors of the Ming Dynasty and 10 emperors of the Qing dynasty. The palace exemplifies the traditional Chinese spatial architecture as the largest collection of ancient wood structures and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere around the world.

Xvlor The Palace Museum or Forbidden City

Xvlor.com The Palace Museum or Forbidden City

History

Hongwu Emperor's son Zhu Di became the Yongle Emperor and moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing where construction began in 1406. The construction lasted 14 years and required more than one million workers, while the material used included all logs of Phoebe zhennan wood that was brought from the forest in Southwest China and a large marble block from mines near Beijing. The main hall floor uses brick paving from Suzhou.

In 1420 to 1644, the Forbidden City was the residence of the Ming Dynasty. In April 1644, Zhu Di was captured by rebel forces led by Li Zicheng who proclaimed himself the Emperor of the Shun Dynasty and immediately fled before the combined forces of the general Ming Wu Sangui and Manchu forces, burning some parts of the Forbidden City.

Manchu had attained supremacy in northern China and a ceremony was held in the Forbidden City to proclaim the young Emperor Shunzhi as the ruler of all of China under the Qing Dynasty. The Qing rulers changed the names in several main buildings and introduced the Shamanist element to the palace.

In 1860, during the Second Opium War, Anglo-French troops took over the Forbidden City until the end of the war. In 1900, the Empress Dowager Cixi escaped from the Forbidden City during Boxer Rebellion and let the palace be occupied by the powers of the treaty until the following year.

The Forbidden City ceased to be the political center of China in 1912 with the decline of Puyi as China's last emperor. Palace Museum was inaugurated in the Forbidden City in 1925. In 1933, the Japanese invasion forced the evacuation of national treasures in the Forbidden City and part of the collection was restored at the end of World War II, but the other part was evacuated to the National Palace Museum in Taipei in 1948 under orders Chiang Kai-shek.

Structure

The Forbidden City has a length of 961 meters (3,153 feet) from north to south and 753 meters wide (2,470 ft) from east to west which covers 980 buildings with 8,886 rooms. The Forbidden City is designed to be a walled city center of Beijing. The closed city in a larger walled area is called the Imperial City.

The central north-south axis remains the central axis of Beijing and extends south through Tiananmen gate to Tiananmen Square as the center of the ceremony of the People's Republic of China and towards Yongdingmen. In the north it extends through Jingshan Hill to the Bell and Drum Towers. The researchers believe that the axis was designed in the Yuan Dynasty to be equated with Xanadu as the other capital.

The Forbidden City is surrounded by a city wall height of 7.9 meters (26 feet), width of 8.62 meters (28.3 feet) at the base to taper to 6.66 meters (21.9 feet) at the top. These walls serve as a defense with three layers of special baked bricks on both sides and a slit filled with mortars.

The tower at the four corners of the wall is the most visible part of the palace for the commoners outside the walls and many folklore attached. Meridian Gate at the south end, Gate of Divine Might in the north overlooking Jingshan Park. East Glorious Gate in the east and West Glorious Gate to the west. All gates in the Forbidden City are adorned with 99 gold door spikes.

Another structure is the Outer Court or the Southern Section, the Inner Court or the Northern Section. Western Six Palaces consists of the Palace of Eternal Longevity, the Hall of the Supreme Principle, the Palace of Eternal Spring, the Palace of Earthly Honor, the Palace of Gathering Elegance and the Palace of Universal Happiness. Eastern Six Palaces includes the Palace of Great Benevolence, the Palace of Heavenly Grace, the Palace of Accumulated Purity, the Palace of Prolonged Happiness, the Palace of Great Brilliance and the Palace of Eternal Harmony.

Collections

The Palace Museum collection is based on the Qing empire with 1.17 million works of art, the imperial library houses a large collection of rare books and historical documents, including documents of Ming and Qing dynasties, paintings, ceramics, stamps, steles, sculptures, written items, bronze items, enamel objects and others.

Inventory from 2004 to 2010 for a total of 1,807,558 artifacts. In 2016, the Palace Museum held a press conference to announce that 55,132 previously unlisted items have been found in inventory checks conducted from 2014 to 2016. The total number of items in the current Palace Museum collection is 1,862,690 objects.

The Palace Museum holds 340,000 pieces of ceramics and porcelain including the imperial collection of the Tang dynasty and the Song dynasty. Nearly 50,000 paintings before the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). Nearly 10,000 bronzeware from the early Shang dynasty where 1,600 were objects written from the pre-Qin period (221 BC).

More than 1,000 mechanical watches from the 18th and 19th centuries were made in China and foreign. Chinese pieces come from palace workshops, Guangzhou (Canton) and Suzhou (Suchow), while foreign pieces are from England, France, Switzerland, the United States and Japan.

About 30,000 jade from the pre-Yuan dynasty and the earliest date of the Neolithic period. The Ming and Qing dynasties included items for the palace and tribute items from around the Empire and beyond. Other artifacts include items used by imperial families and palaces in everyday life, ceremonial goods and bureaucracy.

www.xvlor.com The Palace Museum or Forbidden City

Xvlor The Palace Museum or Forbidden City

Location: The Palace Museum, 4 Jingshan Qianjie, Beijing 100009, China.

Routes and public transport: Flights to Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing Daxing International Airport and Beijing Nanyuan Airport (domestic) in Beijing, then drive to Meridian Gate or south gate to the north of Tiananmen Square.

Bus: No.1, 10, 120, 126, 2, 20, 37, 4, 52, 59, 728, 802, or Te1 to "Tian'an Men East" (Tian'an men dong). Or take a bus no. 1, 10, 22, 37, 4, 5, 52, 728, 802, or Te1 to "Tian'an men West" (Tian'an men xi).

Metro Line 1 (Subway): Stop at Tiananmen West or Tiananmen East Station, then walk north through the Tiananmen Tower (Gate of Heavenly Peace), and then you will find the Meridian Gate.

Metro Line 2 (Subway): Get off at Qianmen Station and walk north through the Tiananmen Tower.

Advice: Try to avoid the weekend or Chinese holidays where the Forbidden City is very crowded and has become very famous for travelers all over the country and the world.

Only one entrance to the Forbidden City is the Meridian Gate or the southern gateway at Tiananmen Tower and Tiananmen Square. Only one gate out of the Forbidden City is the Gate of Divine Might or the north gate.

The Forbidden City accepts Mastercard, Visa and PayUnion cards for ticket. Chinese are required to purchase tickets online, but foreigners can buy tickets at the southern gate.

April 1st - October 31st
The entrance gate opens at 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Entrance Ticket: RMB 60

November 1st - March 31st
The entrance gates open at 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Entrance Ticket: RMB 40

There are several exhibits within the complex requiring additional tickets to access such as the Treasure Gallery for RMB 10 and the Clock and Watch Gallery for RMB 10.
  1. The Forbidden City is closed every Monday.
  2. Ticket purchase is based on the original name policy. You need to show your passport.
  3. Free for children under 1.2 meters, each must be escorted by an adult
  4. School students and college students including foreigners studying in China only pay RMB 20.
  5. Age above 60 years entitled to get half price.

Do not miss visiting the magnificent tower of the Forbidden City and the surrounding moat. Four beautiful towers of the same structure in the four corners of the Forbidden City. Turret towers each have 9 girder, 18 columns and 72 ridges. Two towers in the northeast and northwest corner offer the best photo opportunities.

Turrets are inaccessible to visitors, people usually finish their visit to the Forbidden and exit from the north gate, then turn right to the northeast turret tower or left for the northwest turret tower outside the Forbidden City.

Walk to Jingshan Park for views of the Forbidden City. Jingshan only at the north gate. After completing the visit of the Forbidden City from south to north, you exit the north gate.



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