Forbidden City


Today, China’s capital city, Beijing has a population of 21 million. Within the center of Beijing, The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace for 500 years — from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty (1412 to 1912).

Consisting of 980 buildings covering 180 acres, the palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture; and served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.

Listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved wooden structures in the world, The Forbidden City houses the Palace Museum, which is the most visited museum in the world, with more than 14 million annual visitors.

The Forbidden City is surrounded on three sides by imperial gardens; to the south are two important shrines, and two identical gatehouses. The more famous Tiananmen Gate, is decorated with a portrait of Mao Zedong and two placards: “long Live the People’s Republic of China” and “long live the Great Unity of the World’s peoples”. The Tinanmen Gate connects the Forbidden City precinct with the modern, symbolic center of the Chinese state, Tiananmen Square.

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