The Forbidden City home to emperors from the Ming and Qing Dynasties for over 500 years, it is a truly fascinating must see place in the world. Below are top 10 things you need to know about this fantastic place.
1. The Forbidden City got its name because only royals and their servants were allowed in the city; ordinary people were forbidden to enter without permission of the emperor.
3. During its 500 years of history, 24 emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911)- 14 of the Ming dynasty and 10 of the Qing dynasty – lived and ruled China from there.
4. The Forbidden City is divided into two sections. The southern portion, also called the Outer Court was where the emperor carried out his supreme power. The northern portion, also known as Inner Court was where he lived with his family and concubines.
5. Forbidden City is the largest ancient palace complex on the planet. It is 961 meters from north to south and 753 meters from east to west, covering total 74 hectares.
6. The Imperial Palace is protected by a wall 10 meters high and a moat 52 meters wide.
7. The construction of the palace began in 1406 under the order of Emperor Chengzu and was finished in 1420. And an estimated one million laborers and craftsman were involved.
8. In China yellow is the symbol of royal family, thus almost all roofs bear yellow glazed tiles and decorations in the palace are also painted yellow.
9. The Forbidden City ceased being the political center of China in 1912 with the abdication of Puyi, the last Emperor of China and then became Palace Museum in 1925.
10. The Forbidden City was listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. It is also known as the largest preserved ancient wooden structures on the planet.
If you want to have a glimpse of the Forbidden City before you go to Beijing, watch the 1987 film The Last Emperor, which was allowed by Chinese government to shoot in the Forbidden City in Beijing.