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The Forbidden City in the center of Beijing was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is the world's largest palace complex with 9,999 buildings. It was here that the emperor exercised his supreme power and it was also home to the royal family. Having been the seat of imperial power for some five centuries, this place houses numerous treasures and curiosities attracting tourists. Attraction Intro: Forbidden City

 Related Itineraries including Forbidden City: Best Beijing Private Tour,   3 to 4 Days Beijing Group

Meridian Gate, the front entrance, is the largest gate in the Forbidden City. It is located at the southern end of the central axis of the palace city. It was built in 1420, the eighteenth year of Yongle in the Ming Dynasty.

The Gate of Supreme Harmony, the front gate of the outer court, was first constructed during the reign of Emperor Yongle (1403-1424) in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and is considered to have been built to the highest specification among the gates in Forbidden City. The gate gained its present structure in 1889, the 19th year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu.

The Hall of Supreme Harmony was first constructed in 1420, the 18th year of Yongle in the Ming Dynasty, and reconstructed in 1695, the 34th year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty. It is the place where magnificent ceremonies were held by royal families in Ming and Qing Dynasties.

The Hall of Central Harmony, built in 1420 in the reign of Yongle in the Ming Dynasty, is located behind the Hall of Supreme Harmony The name of the Hall has a close relationship with Confucian principles, and means keeping harmony between people and environment It is the smallest of the three halls in the outer court, covering 580 square meters.

The Hall of Preserving Harmony, located behind the Hall of Central Harmony, is the third hall in outer court. Its construction was also completed in 1420, during the Ming Dynasty. The implied meaning of the name is preserving the unity in one’s inner spirit, and sharing harmony in the world.

Being constructed in the 18th year of Yongle (1420), the Gate of Heavenly Purity is the central gate of the inner court, connecting the inner court and the outer court. It was the place that the emperor handled the state affairs during the Qing Dynasty.

The Palace of Heavenly Purity, built in 1420 in the reign of Yongle in the Ming Dynasty, was used as the emperor’s principal residence and is where emperors slept and worked privately. It ceased to be used as a residence at the time of Emperor Yongzheng (the fifth emperor of Qing Dynasty). The present hall was constructed in 1798, in the reign of Emperor Jiajing.

Similar to the Hall of Central Harmony in architecture, the Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union is located between the Palace of Heavenly Purity and the Palace of Earthly Tranquility. It was constructed in the reign of Emperor Jiajing in the Ming Dynasty and reconstructed in 1797, the second year of the reign of Jiaqing.

The Imperial Garden lies behind the Palace of Earthly Tranquility, on the central axis. The 12,000 square meter garden was a place for emperors and imperial concubines to relax in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

The Gate of Divine Power, another important gate in the Forbidden City, is the north gate for Summer Palace. All the imperial concubines and royal family members went into the Forbidden City through this gate.

The hall lying on the west side of the Palace of Heavenly Purity was built in 1537 and rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Yongzheng. It was used as the residence place for eight emperors since the time of Yongzheng.

The Treasure Gallery is situated on the east of the Forbidden City, in the corridors surrounding the Hall of Imperial Supremacy. It is the place where costumes, ritual articles, decorations and other silver or gold articles are on display.