Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is named that because ordinary people were never allowed inside the gates. This changed in 1925 when members of the public entered it for the first time.

The Forbidden City is located in the centre of Beijing. The Chinese call it Gu Gong. The Forbidden city is also known as The Imperial Palace. It is now known as the Palace Museum. The palace is in a rectangular shape and it is the world's largest palace complex. It covers 740000 square meters. There are 9, 999 rooms and they are surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter high wall. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Divine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 meters, while the distance between the gates in the east and west walls is 750 meters. There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside.

It was home to 24 Ming & Qing emperor's and their families and servants since the beginning of construction until 1911 when the Qing dynasty was outed and The Imperial era ended.

The Forbidden City is separated into two parts. The Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his ultimate power over the nation. The Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Up to when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court in 1924, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had ruled there. Having been the imperial palace for 500 years, it houses many rare treasures and curiosities. In 1987 it was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world-wide.


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