Forbidden City in Beijing –
– Palace last 24 emperors of China
Forbidden City – the only main residence of the emperors of China, which is preserved to our time. All other Chinese imperial palaces, or are in ruins or have disappeared completely. In Beijing, you can still see the Summer Palace of the emperors, but he was the most relaxing place than the permanent residence of the monarchs.
The Forbidden City was the place of work and residence of China’s Ming and Qing emperors of the past 500 years – from 1421 on 1912. Once again in 1917 the imperial power in China has been restored, and the Forbidden City again became the political center of the country. But this restoration lasted only two weeks, after which the emperor was overthrown again. The Forbidden City has lost all political function.
3 Forbidden City "in numbers"
4 The bloody history of the Forbidden City
5 How to get there
6 How much is the ticket
8 Before visiting the Forbidden City
9 How long does it plan to visit
Inspection of the central axis 10 of buildings
ten.1 Afternoon gates
ten.2 Gate Supreme Harmony
ten.3 Hall of Supreme Harmony
ten.4 Hall of Central Harmony
ten.5 Hall of Preserving Harmony
ten.6 Gate of Heavenly Purity
ten.7 Palace of Heavenly Purity
ten.8 Hall of Union and Peace
ten.9 Hall of Earthly Tranquility
ten.10 Imperial Garden
11 Other interesting buildings in the Forbidden City
eleven.1 Hall Mind Improvement
eleven.2 Six Western Palaces and Six Eastern Palaces
eleven.3 Pavilion Rain and Flower
eleven.4 Palace of Peace and Longevity
In the days of the emperors to enter the Forbidden City were only selected and only during the day. Night inside could only be the emperor himself, his concubines and eunuchs. The reason for this rule is simple: it was necessary to be sure that the children of the emperor are the children of the emperor. Any man caught in the palace at night gave death.
Now the Forbidden City is no longer such a forbidden as before. It is open for tourists, and may argue for first place in the list of the most popular sights of Beijing.
However, for Russian tourists, the main goal in Beijing is the Great Wall of China. Forbidden city we know badly, and we will try to fix this state of affairs. We will tell about it all the most interesting – story, figures and facts, we describe the most popular tourist routes and interesting buildings. Let’s start with the name.
Chinese forbidden city is called "Zi Zhin Chen".
The first word "zi" is translated as "purple", which, of course, has nothing to do with the color. This is a reference to the "purple star", which we used to call the "Polar Star". In the ancient Chinese astrology it was believed that it was this star – the place of residence of the emperor of the sky. The emperor of China is the son of the sky, and the polar star patronizes him. In this context, the word "zi" can be translated as "imperial".
The second word "Zhin" is translated as "prohibiting" or "forbidden". The third word "Chen" translates as "City, surrounded by the wall".
The second name sounds like "Googun", which is translated as a "former palace". This name appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, when the imperial power in China was lowered.
Forbidden City "In Figures"
Forbidden City Length – 961 meters, width – 753 meters. Total area – 72 hectares. On many pages on the Internet it is said that the Forbidden City is the largest palace complex in the world.
It’s hard to say, from which numbers this conclusion was made. If you consider the total area of the premises, then it is only 150,000 square meters. For example, in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, the area of the premises is 240,000 square meters. For this indicator, the Forbidden City is only 8th place.
If you evaluate the total area of the territory, then the Forbidden City is even further in the list of leaders. For example, the area of only the "Lower Park" Palace Peterhof in St. Petersburg is 102 hectares, which is more than the entire forbidden city.
Who and how to put the Forbidden City on the first ranking? Now not to find, but there is a suspicion that it was done in promotional purposes.
Palace is surrounded by a fortress wall of 10 meters high and 8.5 meters wide. Behind the wall is 52 meters wide, its total length is 3800 meters. This ditch is called "Golden Waters". At the corners of the Forbidden City are 4 Watchtower (wall, ditch and tower, see a small photo gallery on the right). As you noticed, the phrase "my house is my fortress" China’s emperors perceived literally.
However, there was no situation in the history of the Forbidden City, when it had to protect on the walls with weapons in his hands. The seizures of the forbidden city were only three. The first time he was taken by the rebels in 1644, then Manchuri in 1644, and for the last time in 1860 there were english-French troops during the second opium war. All three times the Forbidden City surrendered without a fight, it simply nobody defended him.
Inside are 980 buildings of different sizes. According to the legend, the builder of the Forbidden City Emperor Junle ordered to organize 10,000 rooms. But in a dream, the emperor of the sky itself came to him and stated that in his palace 10,000 rooms, and the earth ruler could not be equal to the ruler of the sky. Junle ordered to make less than 10 thousand rooms, and builders made a ceiling one of the rooms very low. It turned out that in the Forbidden City 9 999.5 rooms.
In fact, rooms here from 8 to 9 thousand. Exact digit depends on the calculation methodology. The official version of Chinese scientists – 8,704 rooms. Official version of European Encyclopedia – 8,886 rooms.
According to the official version of the construction lasted 14 years – from 1406 to 1420. However, in ancient chronicle there is such an entry: "Construction began on the 15th year of the UNLE era," that is, to build began in 1417, and the whole process went for 3.5 years. Everything else was spent on the extraction and transportation of building materials.
Many historians argue with this, arguing that such a large-scale complex of buildings for 3.5 years to build was impossible. We hope that any new sources will be available in the future, and we will know the truth.
Bloody history of the Forbidden City
Before the middle of the 14th century, the city of Hanbalyk was located on the site of modern Beijing, which was the capital of China at the Yuan dynasty. The emperors of the dynasty yuan were Mongols, and found her Khan Khubilai – grandson of Genghis Khan.
Hanbalyk city built the best architects of China and Central Asia. His luxurious imperial palaces became famous far beyond China, but did not last long. Dynasty yuan rules less than 100 years.
Emperors Yuan were too hard in Chinese culture, and steppe tribes stopped recognizing "their". On the other hand, the Chinese themselves continued to consider them with enslave. Having lost its support, the yuan dynasty fell as a result of a major liberation uprising of "red dressings". The rebels took the city of Hanbalyk in 1368.
The head of the rebels Zhu Yuanzhan became the first emperor of the new dynasty Min. On the left you see the frame from the "Emperor" series, which tells about these terrible events for China. The series was shown on Chinese television in 2008.
Zhu Yuanzhann almost completely erased Hanbalyk from the face of the earth. The imperial palaces were looted and destroyed. It is on their basis that the Forbidden City will later be built. The city of Hanbalyk was renamed Bepin, which translates as a "peaceful north" or "calm north", and the capital was postponed to the city of Nanjing.
Emperor Zhu Yuanjang was 26 sons. We will not talk about all now, we are only interested in two. The first son from the Empress Zhu Biao was the heir to the throne, he lived at the court in Nanjing.
The younger sons, according to tradition, were prescribed to lead small peripheral provinces, so that they were not confused "under their feet". The Fourth Son of the Emperor Zhu Yuanzhzhan and the Empress Ma called Zhu Di, he became the ruler of the Northern Region Yan with the capital in Bepin.
Arriving in Bepin, Zhu Di discovered the city in a deplorable state – raging hunger and epidemics, and the whole area suffered from raids of Mongols and other nomads.
Zhu di showed himself an active administrator and general. He broke the Mongols, strengthened the Great Wall of China, established people’s life. In all this he helped his father-in-law Xu Yes, Zhu Di himself was very young. On the right you see the photo of the bronze statue of Emperor Zhu di near his tomb near Beijing.
The most important thing – Zhu Di has gained deep respect and support for the people of Yan Province, and these lands have become his reliable stronghold in the future.
Meanwhile, in 1392, an unpleasant event happened in the capital – the first son of the emperor and the heir to Zhu Biao died, while the emperor Zhu Yuanzhan himself also heard. The heir was appointed the eldest son Zhu Biao and grandson Zhu Yuanzhzhan – Prince Zhu Yunwean. He became the heir in 10 years.
In 1398, the emperor Zhu Yuanzhan’s emperor and 16-year-old Zhu Yunwean ascended the throne. Zhu Di drove from Bepina to Nanjing to mourn father and participate in the funeral. Zhu di went with a big squad of soldiers, but the imperial troops were blocked the way. Zhu di did not get involved in a fight, because three of his son was in the capital as hostages. Zhu di retreated, but only for a while.
New Emperor Zhu Yunwean did not accept independent decisions, other people ruled for him. Immediately after the first time, repression began. Began the persecution of the sons of the former emperor – Uncle Zhu Yunweany. Some downgraded in status to commoners, some were forced to commit suicide to commit suicide, some were sent to reference.
Zhu di schitril – attacked the patient, and then depicted madness. Under the pretext of the need to say goodbye to his father, they were sent from the capital of his sons. The hostages were free, and obstacles to power in Zhu Di was no longer.
In 1399, Zhu Di claims to the whole country that Emperor Zhu Yunwean acts under the pressure of evil advisers and demands resignation of all ministers. Naturally, the advisers Zhu Yunweany did not go for it, and a full-fledged civil war began, which went down in history as "Military company Jinan".
For the emperor Zhu Yunweany, no one sought to fight, and already in 1402, Zhu di troops approached Nanjing. Take the city storming did not have to, they opened the gate locals. The imperial palace burned down completely, and the emperor Zhu Yunwean died on fire with his wife and the newborn second son. Who knows if there was no this fire, then the Forbidden City may not have been built.
Since the emperor died, Zhu Di declared himself a new emperor, he announced a new era of "Junle", which translates as "eternal happiness". Every emperor of China declared his era, and we know many Chinese emperors by the name of the era, and not at the present name. In particular, our hero is more often called "Emperor Junle".
Now many readers concluded that Zhu Di was a noble ruler, convoluted Tiran and freed the country from repression. Nothing like this! He began a new wave of terror.
Zhu di did not inherit the throne, but Usurped power. Many did not recognize him by the legitimate emperor. He ordered all doubters without delaying and everyone who could somehow stop him. We said that the previous young emperor died in a fire with his wife and the second son, but he also had the first son whose behalf of the story did not save. This son was put in prison and lived in prison all 55 years of his life.
Local intelligentsia was most affected – Confucian scientists. One of them tried to kill Zhu Di, it was the main censor named Jin Qin. At one of the meetings, he pounced on Zhu di with a knife, but was neutralized by guard. After this, the attempt of repression took the character of this "hell".
All scientists who did not recognize the legality of the Zhu di power, killed together with families. Zhu di did not regret either women nor children. The story entered the scientist Hang Syaror, who refused to write a laudatory ODU to the new emperor. His family was executed until the 10th of the knee. That is, his family, all cousins relatives, secondary and so on. In total, 873 people were executed in his case! Such a terrible terror history of China has not yet known to Zhu di, and after him did not repeat.
The second injured group was the eunuchs of previous emperors, almost all of them were killed. Only some eunuch managed to escape. The victims of the repressions of Zhu di are not yet accurately calculated, but the bill is on hundreds of thousands of people.
By 1403, Zhu Di understands that his efforts are vain. How many people he did not execute, he does not recognize the legitimate emperor in Nanjing. He feels danger here, but leave the capital – it means to recognize my defeat. He decides to postpone the capital to Bepin, where the population loves him, and he is ready to admit the emperor. Bepin becomes the capital and renamed Badzhin, which is translated as "Northern Capital". Officially, the decision to transfer the capital was made on the 13th day of the 1st Lunar month in 1403.
There is no imperial palace in the new Beij region, and Zhu di begins the most large-scale construction in his life – the Forbidden City. By the way, nails in those days did not apply. Just like in Russia, special articulations were used here (on the photo on the left).
Already at the beginning of construction, the fate of the forbidden city and the most Zhu di "hung in the hairs". Tamerlan himself moved to China, he led the most severe army of the world, and his goal was North China and Beijin. Fortunately for the Chinese, Tamerlan died at the very beginning of the campaign, and the war did not take place.
Construction began with the workpiece of building materials. The forbidden city began to build on the site of the old palaces of Emperors Yuan, and part of the materials took from the ruins of these structures. Of course, this was not enough.
Palace was built from the best and expensive materials. For wooden buildings, a nanyma tree was chosen – the most valuable breed of wood. By the time this tree could be found only in virgin forests in the Western provinces of the country. Most of such wood was mined in Sichuan.
Leopards and other predators lived in these forests, poisonous snakes and insects were abundant. Many harvesters died of injuries and diseases. The chronicles describe the production of wood Nanyma: "1000 people left the mountains, and only 500 were returned. Thousands of people died on these billets.
Delivery logs were carried out on rivers, having a fisherman and forcing many Chinese to starve.
Now you will not see these buildings from the tree Nanyma. Forbidden city burned many times, and it was rejected again. During the reconstructions, less valuable woods were used.
With a stone was a little easier. Marble mined in the southwest of Beijing, local quarries work now. But for the Forbidden City, not only small stones were required, but also the gigantic monoliths.
For example, in front of the hall of the highest harmony there is a stone of 16.5 meters long, 3 meters wide and 1.7 meters thick. His weight – 250 tons. He amazes the imagination of tourists with its sizes and stunning bas-relief with dragons (in the photo on the right). Many guides tell that it is still unknown, as they were able to deliver it to the Forbidden City. In fact, the construction of a forbidden city was well documented, and we know exactly what way it was brought here.
From the Kamenomanian Fanshan to the Forbidden City of 70 kilometers long. Along this road every 50 meters a well was burned. In the fall in front of the cold, the whole road was poured with water from these wells. When frost came, the road just frozen and turned into a huge ice rink. There is a 250-ton piece of marble on this rollers to the Forbidden City. Transportation took 28 days.
Stone pulled 20,000 workers and 10,000 mules, which can be considered quite plausible digit. A total of 100,000 workers and 60,000 soldiers worked on the quarries. Notice what an unusual ratio is 1 soldier for 2 workers. Probased on the quarries worked on the quarries.
About 1,000,000 workers of different specialties took part in construction. If you take all login managers, Kamnetsians, movers and rigging, masters of different specialties, then the figure looks quite plausible. For comparison, the pyramid of Cheops was built 100,000 people, such a figure leads to us Herodota historian. Modern reconstructions and models show that the builders of the Egyptian pyramids were no more than 30,000 people.
Forbidden city became an architectural masterpiece of his time. Its foundation consists of fifteen layers of stone, which prevented the possibility of subpople. Based on the system of pipes for heating steam.
All sources of open fire were made beyond the limits of a forbidden city for fire safety. Only on the imperial cuisine (in the photo on the left) was allowed to use fire. However, these measures did not save the palace from numerous fires.
So far the construction went, the emperor did not have to sit idle. The threat of mongols and other nomads persisted. Emperor Zhu di twice crossed the Great Chinese Wall with the army to end this problem.
During this period, another major construction of Zhu di began. In 1407, the favorite wife of the emperor died – Empress Su. Zhui Di thought about life after death and organized an expedition in the vicinity of Beijing in order to find the perfect place for the future tomb for themselves and wife. So the Valley of the Tomb of the Ming Dynasty appeared, which we also recommend tourists to visit. There is the tomb of Emperor Zhu Di (UNLE), but it is still sealed. But the other tomb of the emperor bath is opened, it is available for visiting.
In 1421, the construction of a forbidden city was completed. In honor of this event, a big amnesty was announced. All prisoners who worked on the project were given freedom. Free workers were released from taxes.
One interesting legend is connected with the further fate of the Forbidden City. The emperor called an official named Hu, who knew how to predict the future. Zhu di (Junle) asked the official to predict the future of the Forbidden City. Hu replied that on the 8th day of the 4th month of the next year a fire will happen in the Forbidden City. The emperor was angry and ordered to sharpen Hu in prison, promising that he executed him if the fire would not happen.
In the scientist community, they do not believe in this legend, and Hu officials consider a fictional character. But the fire itself is 1423 – this is a historical fact, lightning launched the main pavilions of the Forbidden City.
For us – people of the 21st century there is nothing mystical, but for the ancient Chinese it meant a lot. We have already said that Zhu Di (Junle) was a usurper of the throne. Zipper were karai sky – proof of his illegal power. For the emperor, it was a blow, he fell into depression. Already in 1424, during the next campaign against Mongols, Zhu Di (UNLE) died. The cause of death is called a heart attack.
Forbidden city took thousands of lives, and his builder became his last victim – Emperor Zhu Di (UNLE).
Another 500 years before 1912, the forbidden city was the main residence of the Chinese emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Here the intrigues reigned, fires happened, the buildings were rebuilt and changed their functions. We will tell about all this further along the course of this article.
How to get
The main entrance to the Forbidden City is located on the south side. You will enter inside the area of Tiananmen. Hike to the Forbidden City Conveniently combine with visiting other attractions of Square Tiananmen.
First of all, we recommend going to Mao Zedong Mausoleum, as it works in the morning from 8-00 to 12-00. You can also see the National Museum of China or the Hall of Public Assembly. But we want to warn that the National Museum is very big, and if you want to see it all, I do not have enough for a visit to the Forbidden City. One day may be enough for inspection of all these attractions, but only in the "Gallop of Europe" mode.
How much does the ticket cost
From November to March: 40 Chinese yuan per visitor.
From April to October: 60 Chinese yuan per visitor.
For the entrance to some buildings, an additional fee of 10 yuan may be charged.
It is curious that for two visitors there are not two tickets, but one double ticket. You can see it in the photo on the right. Why is it done? We do not understand.
From 8-30 am to 16-30 days from November to March. From 8-30 am to 17-00 days from April to October.
Mondays the Forbidden City is closed for visitors, except for the following cases:
– National holidays
– Summer school holidays from July 1 to August 31
Before visiting a forbidden city
Inside, it is forbidden to have matches or lighters with yourself, such as fire safety requirements. If you have a dear lighter, then leave it in the hotel room. If you use cheap, then get ready to break up forever.
Remember that you should not try to touch something with your hands and, moreover, try to break down a piece of the forbidden city to my memory. Inside you will not see police or guard, but it does not mean that there are no. Just they work in civilian. If you look closely, they can be distinguished from ordinary tourists. See photo on the right.
If you go watch the Forbidden City in the summer, then go to water, because there is no cafe, nor restaurants, no stores. If you go in autumn or in winter, get dull, hide from the cold inside almost no place.
How much time plan to visit
It depends on what program you want to see the Forbidden City. There are several options:
1. Inspection of only buildings of the central axis – 1-2 hours.
2. Inspection of the buildings of the central axis and some interesting adjacent buildings – 3-4 hours.
3. Inspection of the entire forbidden city – all day
We will not describe visits to the entire forbidden city, as it is long and overwhelming most tourists will be uninteresting. We will focus only on the first two options.
On the left you see a map where the numbers we marked the most interesting buildings. Objects on the central axis are indicated by numbers from 1 to 10. Additional places of interest from 11 to 14.
Inspection of the central axis buildings
This is the most popular tourist program, so the forbidden city is watching 95% of tourists. On the way you look at the 9 main palace buildings and the imperial garden.
Housing gate (or Vaumen Gate) (1)
Total in the Forbidden City of Four Goat. Only one of them are used to enter visitors – this is the South Gate. At all times of the existence of a forbidden city, they were used as the main entrance to the palace.
Gate have five doors – three centers and two doors on the sides. Side doors were used by service personnel, and now they are closed. Of the three central doors, the right to be used by officials, left members of the imperial family, and only the emperor himself could pass through the central larger door, but there were two exceptions.
The first exception was made only for the empress and only once – on the wedding day. The second exception was made once a few years for the winners of the Imperial Exam. Tourists we recommend passing through the central door. Feel yourself with emperor.
Tourists should pay attention to rivets on the doors. Total 9 rows of rivets and 9 columns (you can count on your own in the photo in the gallery on the right). 9 is a happy number of emperor, and in the Forbidden City you will meet him constantly.
The midday gate shake their sizes – they are 35 meters high, which is equivalent to a 11-storey house. Upstairs are 5 towers called "Phoenix Towers". The whole design really resembles this mythical bird.
At the edges of the central tower were installed main bells and beaches of Beijing. The bells ranned every year, notifying the departure of the emperor into the temple of the sky, the drums beat upon departure of the emperor to the temple of the ancestors. With the most important ceremonies, the bells and the drums sounded at the same time, informing about the coronation or wedding of the emperor.
The midday gate were the place of "communication" of the authorities and the world. Here, new laws were officially declared, the emperor welcomed the subjects for the holidays, took the parades and looked at the punishment of the guilty officials.
Gate of Higher Harmony (Taikhimen) (2)
After a midday gate, you will fall on the large area – the external courtyard of the Forbidden City. There is a water canal "Inner Golden River", through which five bridges hover. The rules of passage through these bridges were completely similar to the rules of doors at the midday gate.
This channel had several functions. The first is the source of water in case of fire, the second is a natural barrier for attacking in the event of an attack on the Forbidden City. Tourists should pay attention to bridge balustrades, decorated with dragons and phoenix figures – emperor symbols.
Another interesting point on this area, which is worth paying attention – these are bricks. These bricks are made by special technology, they produce a nice ringing sound when they are coming. This property coverage has almost disappeared, but in some places this sound can still be heard.
Main Sightseeing Square – Two Giant Bronze Lion. The right lion holds under the paw sphere, symbolizing the power of the emperor, which extends to the whole world. The left lioness holds a lion’s paw, symbolizing the well-being and fertility of the imperial family. The Chinese believe that such lions guard the house from evil spirits and attract good. Naturally, these lions are the largest in China.
Behind the lions are the gate of the highest harmony. The name "Gate" is a conventionality, in reality, this is a real pavilion. It was used in all cases when someone did not want to start further, but the meeting with the emperor was needed. For example, receptions of foreign ambassadors or the imperial court.
Hall High Harmony (Taocidian) (3)
Passing through the gate of the highest harmony, you will get to the largest area in the Forbidden City – 30,000 square meters. Higher harmony hall towers behind it – the main building of the Forbidden City.
This is the "heart" of the forbidden city. It was here that the emperor accepted officials and generals, they arranged all the most important ceremonies and celebrations. The hall is on the marble foundation in three tiers. Two big stairs lead to top. In the center there is a marble slab weighing 250 tons, which we have already told above, decorated with bas-reliefs with phoenixes and dragons.
Building Height – 37.5 meters, and for a long time Higher Harmony Hall was the highest building in Beijing. The law was forbidden to build built above. When you look at the High Harmony Hall, I don’t even come to mind that this is a building height with a 12-storey house.
The traditional architecture of China never sought giantism. Harmony size, shape and content – this is the main goal of the ancient Chinese architects. And, honestly, they got great.
On some sites on the Internet they write that the Higher Harmony Hall is the largest wooden building in the world. Of course it is not. Stadium "Let’s Zhukai House" in Japan has a height of 52 meters and an area of 25,000 square meters. Compared to Him, Higher Harmony Hall – Baby.
Even before the hall of the highest harmony, tourists will see a lot of interesting things. Pay attention to huge water chains – another fire safety measure. Even here are the main in the Forbidden City of Sunshirts. Also, you can also see very interesting stone columns, similar to lights that served as storage of measures and scales.
High Harmony Hall 64 meters wide and 37.2 meters deep, Area – 2381 Square meter. The roof holds 72 columns – 6 rows of 9 pieces. Notice, and here the number 9 is used – the symbol of the imperial power.
Inside is the main imperial throne. He is called the Trone of Higher Harmony. Tourists are difficult to see it, because indoors are dark. In the hall of the Higher Harmony, more than four doors are rarely open, and the light lacks. The central door is open very rarely, and the throne has to look at an angle. In addition, with such angle, the throne block columns. In the photo on the right you can see how sad it looks.
Those who wish to see the throne, and to open doors still need to "break through". On weekdays, this is done quite real, but on a day off – this is an epic feat. Hence the conclusion: Do not go to the Forbidden City on weekends and holidays. On the weekend in Beijing is better to go to the markets of Vanfujin or Malindao or go through the shopping centers of the Sidan region. Cultural attractions these days are always overwhelmed by visitors.
In addition to the throne, inside you can see six gilded columns, decorated with dragon bas-reliefs. These columns are visible a little better (see photo on the right). On the roof right above the throne is a big golden dragon playing with a pearl. There is a legend that if someone ussurp the throne, then this pearl will fall on it and ask to death. This dragon is very difficult to see tourists, but take a picture.
Hall of Central Harmony (Joranedian) (4)
This is a small building with a pyramid roof. This hall served to relax emperor and dressing up to ceremonies. Inside there is also a throne, but much more modest than the throne of higher harmony. The hall was often used as a place of emperor conversations with approximate ministers and generals.
Inscriptions near the throne say: "The path of heaven is deep and mysterious, and the path of mankind is complicated. Only if you make an accurate and united plan and follow it, then you can rule the country well ". These words here left the emperor Qianlong from the Qing dynasty. He knew what he was talking about, because he ruled the country for 60 years.
Hall of preserved harmony (Baojedian) (5)
This is the last building of the "External Palace" – the working part of the Forbidden City. After him, you will fall into the "Inner Palace" – the place of residence of the emperor and his family.
The hall of the saved harmony had many features. During the time of the Qing dynasty, he most often served as a banquet hall. In the era of Min, he served as a place for the preparation of the empress and the princes to ceremonies.
In appearance, it is similar to the High Harmony Hall, but smaller. Inside there is also an imperial throne, and also smaller.
All these three halls stand on a single base of three tiers. If it rains during your visit to the forbidden city, then you should not immediately disappear. This is a good opportunity to look at the stunning drainage system. Tourists notice at the base of the Dragon’s stone heads, and it seems that it is just a decor, but these are outputs of pipes that are out. Total here 1412 such dragon heads.
Gate of heavenly purity (cyancinman) (6)
These gates divide the inner and external part of the Palace. They themselves do not cause much interest in tourists, as they represent a reduced copy of the gate of the heavenly harmony.
Interest is the next pair of lions from bronze, but already gilded. Their main feature is the ears are omitted, and these are the only such lions in the Forbidden City. Why they are? The mystery, which historians did not find explanations.
Many tourists admit these lions themselves with the most beautiful, and we agree with this opinion. Do not forget to take pictures with them.
Officials were not allowed to the inner palace, and this place turned out to be closest, where it was possible to put up with the emperor. Some emperors saved their time, meeting with the ministers and military leaders here.
Palace of Heavenly Purity (Cyancingon) (7)
This building served as the main place of residence of emperors, although some rulers preferred the neighboring Hall of Improving Mind. There is also a throne, and the hall was sometimes used in ceremonial purposes.
The most interesting thing is above the throne. You see there are four hieroglyphs, which say: "open and honestly". This sign played a very important role, and we will tell about it in detail.
The principle of the throne in China was pretty simple – the next emperor became the eldest son of the current emperor from the empress. This system often led to the deplorable results, remember at least the story with the builder of the Forbidden City by Emperor Junle. Weak heir – the threat of civil war. Weak heir – trouble for the country.
Gradually in China switched to inheritance by the will. This system gave failures, because the testament could be faked. The fifth emperor of the Qing Dynasty named Junzhen changed this practice. He ruled that from now on, the heir is chosen by the emperor, and this may be his son from any complimentary, not necessarily from the Empress.
The emperor wrote two copies of the will. He always wore with him the first, and the second put it right under this sign. After the death of the ruler, both copies opened, and if the names in them coincided, the testament was considered a real.
Union and World Hall (Zhayotaidan) (8)
Unity hall was intended for the "unity" process of the emperor with empress or concubines. By the way, a very good word and not a vulgar. The phrase "Laao Tai" is translated as the "Union of Earth and Heaven". Emperor – Son Sky. The Empress symbolizes the Earth, as the land is associated with fertility and the appearance of offspring.
However, this building had other functions. At different times, holidays were held here, the imperial seals were kept and carried out ceremonies.
Hall of earthly calm (Kuningon) (9)
This building was conceived by the builders of the Forbidden City as the place of residence of the Empress. At dynasty min so it was. Later, the Emperors of the Qing arranged here the place for "unity", it is not clear what the hall of unity did not like. Marriage rest you can see, but they are separated from tourists with glass.
Part of the hall Emperors Qing adapted to bring victims to their gods. Probably, this phrase is not fully understood by readers, so we will give explanations.
The emperors of the Qing dynasty were not Chinese, they were manchurs. The people of Manchurov lived in the northeast of China, in 1644 their army entered China and took Beijing’s attack, they founded a new dynasty. The people of Manchurov retained his beliefs in their gods. Of course, the Emperors Qing did not want to advertise their religious addictions and tried to hide these ceremonies "away from curious eyes". The hall of earthly calm was very convenient for this place.
Further, behind the harness of earthly calm is the entrance to a large garden.
We also recommend reading another our article "within the forbidden city". There you will find even more information about the halls and gates of the palace.
Imperial Garden (10)
Other interesting buildings in the Forbidden City
As we have already said, 95% of tourists are watching only the main axis buildings, but we would like to recommend a few more interesting pavilions.
Mind Improvement Hall (11)
As soon as you entered the inside of the palace, right in front of the palace of heavenly cleanliness you need to turn left. Here is the Hall of Improvement of the mind, which served as a place of residence for some of the Emperors of the Qing Dynasty. The first here moved emperor Junchen.
For the active emperors of Qing, this place was more convenient for work. The hall is divided into two parts. Southern part for work, North for rest. At the board of Emperor Kansi, there was even a furnace for firing china. Emperor Kansey loved this craft very much, he made porcelain products in this hall and was an innovator in the industry.
This is a unique opportunity for tourists to see the life of the Chinese emperors, because visitors are not allowed into the hall of the celestial cleanliness, and this room is open to visit. The ruler had four beds in the ruler of improving the ruler, and he slept on them alternately to confuse potential killers.
In the south, there are imperial cuisine, they are sometimes open to tourists, try to look, can be lucky.
Six Western palaces and six eastern palaces (12) (feminists are better not to read)
On both sides of the three buildings of the Palace are 12 halls of 6 on each side. They served as the place of residence of the emperor. These halls are located in the form of a kun symbol that is associated with the female start. Once we started talking about these halls, we will tell you more about the personal life of the emperors of China.
Technically, the number of concubines from the emperor was unlimited. The record holder in the number of concubines was the Emperor Kansi Dynasty Qing. Number of Cansi concubines is not defined, and the numbers differ from 60 to 80. Chinese historians stick numbers 79. Even the twelve of these halls in his rule was not enough to place all.
Imperial concubines have their ranks and a table of ranks. The main thing was the Empress, the second concubitant wore the title "Gem Wife of the Emperor", then two ladies wore the title "Precious concubine", four had the title "Imperial concubine" and six were "imperial concubines of the 3rd rank".
And there were still "decent ladies", "ladies in the performance of duties" and "Palace girls" are three lower status in the imperial harem. The number of these compounds was unlimited, if only everyone fit into the Forbidden City.
The concubine rose in the rank for any merits, they had their own "career staircase". This gradation from 8-steps appeared in the Qing Dynasty, and during the time mines it was even more – 12 steps.
At the end of the dining meal in front of the emperor, concubines were built, and on the table laid out wooden nameplates with names. The emperor watched and chose the one with which he wants to spend the night. The choice was made precisely with the plate, and not a voice. The selected concubine has already been reported to how she was lucky today, and in the evening they spent the emperor. Naturally, the phrases "I’m tired today" or "my head hurts" here they were not accepted. The process of conception and childbirth was perceived not even as a family life, but as a civil service.
These 12 palaces are small in size, the name "Palaces" in this case conditional. Tourists can be like and see them, some can look. This place seems very calm and peaceful, although there is intrigue, and they booked serious passions. Recall at least the story with the emperor Zhu Jianzhen.
Emperor Zhu Jianzhen from the Ming dynasty (in the photo on the right) was not interested in public affairs, from his name the rules of Eunuch. His main passion was women. He had not so much concubines – about twenty, but he loved to go beyond love joy outside the Forbidden City.
At the age of 29, it turned out that he had no children. Agree, this is a paradoxical fact, given his hobby. The emperor burned heavily about this, and one of the eneu signed by Jianmin told him the truth. It turned out that the favorite of the emperor named Vanguifay had great power in a harem and was very afraid to lose her. She forced all the concubines to make abortions.
Even also said that one of the emperor’s mistresses outside the Forbidden City gave birth to him Son 5 years ago. The emperor urgently ordered to find this child. The child was found, but the concubine Wanguifi managed to "Suit from the Light" his mother. Eunuch Jianmin also was soon found dead. Only a boy survived, and it was this boy that became the next emperor of China. Of course, after the elimination of Wanguifi’s concubines, Wanguifi has become better, the emperor was born another 12 sons and 6 daughters.
By such history, you can shoot a series. However, it was already removed and showed on the TV TV in Hong Kong. It was not translated into Russian yet, waiting.
Pavilion of rain and colors (13)
This is the only religious building in the Forbidden City. This is a Tibetan buddhist temple. It was built to improve relations with Tibet and Mongolia and fortifying the unity of the country. It is open to visit, look interesting.
Palace of Peace and Longevity (14)
This place is connected with the emperor Zaglun – the sixth ruler of the Qin Dynasty. At the coronation, he gave an oath that if the sky gives him a long board, he would not rule the longest of his famous grandfather of Emperor Kansi. Recall that Kansi Rules 61.
The sky really bestowed by Zadlunu, and he fulfilled his promise. In the 60th year, he renounced the throne – a unique case. For him specially prepared the residence, where he could live the remaining years. This is the Palace of Peace and Longevity.
The palace of peace and longevity was reconstructed. A record amount of 1.3 million silver tales was spent on this update. It is 52 tons of silver!
The palace of peace and longevity is a forbidden city in miniature. Front building for work and back for the rest of the aged Emperor. Before entrance, there are bronze gilded lions – mini copies of the main lions near the gate of the highest harmony.
The emperor Zadlong did not live here by a single day, he remained to live in the Hall of Improving Mind. And the palace of peace and longevity remained empty, and very well preserved. We recommend to see what you can build for 52 tons of silver.
We will not describe the rest of the place in the Forbidden City. Can you like and see several parks, pavilions, and even the scene for performing the ideas of the Beijing Opera.
Have a successful inspection of the Forbidden City, and read our other articles about China (Links below).
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I liked this article was very interesting to learn about the Forbidden City.
Well done. everything is popular and concise.
The most complete in facts and dates and the most interesting article about the forbidden city on the Internet.