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The Forbidden City

   Located in the middle of Beijing, Forbidden City was the Chinese royal palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Also called Palace Museum, the Forbidden City is recognized as the most magnificent and splendid palace complex in China and one of the five world-famous palaces with the Palace of Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in England, the White House in United States and the Kremlin in Russia.
    Construction of the palace began in 1406 and ended in 1420. The whole complex of this palace is composed of 980 buildings left completely with 8,707 rooms and covers 720,000 square meters in area. The Forbidden City is surrounded by a high city wall with 7.9 meters and a moat with 6 meters deep, 52 meters wide. All of them served as both defensive walls and retaining walls for the palace. The palace complex features traditional Chinese palatial architecture and has exerted great influences upon cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City, listed by UNESCO as the World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, is the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.     The wall possesses a gate on each side. The main one called Meridian Gate is located at the southern end. To the north is the Gate of Divine Might, facing Jingshan Park. The east and west gates are called the "East Glorious Gate" and "West Glorious Gate" respectively. All gates in the Forbidden City are decorated with a nine-by-nine array of golden door nails, except for the East Glorious Gate, which has only eight rows.
    The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The Outer Court, or Front Court was the place where the emperor performed his supreme power over the nation. The Inner Court, or Back Palace was the place where the Emperor and his family lived. Generally, the Forbidden City has three vertical axes. The most important buildings are situated on the central north-south axis.
    Three sides of the Forbidden City are surrounded by imperial gardens. To the north is Jingshan Park, also named as Prospect Hill, it is an artificial hill made by the soil dig out to built the moat and from nearby lakes. Zhongnanhai, a former garden, lies to the west and now serves as the central political headquarters for China. Beihai Park, a popular park in Beijing, lies to its northwest part. As yellow is the symbol of the royal family, it is the dominant color of the Forbidden City. Thus almost all roofs in the Forbidden City bear yellow glazed tiles. There are only two exceptions. Pavilion of Literary Profundity, the royal library, had black tiles. The reason is that it was believed black was associated with water, and thus can extinguish fire. The other one is the Crown Prince's residences having green tiles because green was associated with wood, and thus means growth.The collections of the Palace Museum are based on the Qing Dynasty. According to the results of a 1925 audit, some 1.17 million items were stored in the Forbidden City. In addition, the imperial libraries housed one of the country's largest collections of ancient books and various documents, including government documents of the Ming and Qing dynasties Today, the Forbidden City is open to the tourists from home and abroad. Visitors can have an eye feast on its grand and deluxe halls, splendid architectures and various collections
Add: No.4 Jingshan Front Street,Dongcheng District 65132255
Opening Hour: 8:30-17:00
Time of finshing selling ticket: 15:00 pm
Travel Time: two hours
Entrance Fee: RMB 60
Take No. 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20, 52, 57, 22, 54, 120, 802, special No.1 bus and get off at Zhongshan Phongshan Park stop or Tian Am Men stop. Take subway. 
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