Hall of the Supreme Principle (Taijidian)

Built in the 18th year of Yongle (1420) of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), Hall of the Supreme Principle (Taijidian) is one of the Six Western Palaces in the inner court of Forbidden City. Originally called Weiyanggong, it was renamed Qixianggong later in the 14th year of reign of Jiajing (1535). It was just an ordinary harem palace in the Ming Dynasty and the early Qing Dynasty. During the 9th year reign of Xianfeng in the late Qing Dynasty, he ordered to demolish a wall of Hall of the Supreme Principle and connect it with Palace of Eternal Spring (Changchungong), both for his convenience to the court and to celebrate his ten years on the throne. It is now preserved and decorated as the old times to display the palace life.

What to See inside the Hall of Supreme Principle (Taijidian)

Taijidian was originally an ordinary palace with front and back two courtyards.
Taijidian in the front yard has 5 rooms and the outer eaves are painted with Su style color painting. The emperor Qianlong once ordered his painters to draw twelve paintings of “palace training”, which were intended to praise the virtues of the empresses in ancient China. Hanging in the Taijidian is a picture to remind the concubine to assist her husband. In front of the hall is a screen with auspicious glazed phoenix pattern. Together with the east and west side halls, they constitute a spacious courtyard. 
The rear hall of Taijidian is Tiyuandian, which is connected with Palace of Eternal Spring (Changchungong) to the south and has an opera stage between them.

Who ever Lived in the Hall of Supreme Principle (Taijidian)

1. Ming Noble Concubine Tian ( ? -1642)

Emperor Chongzhen loved her very much so the empress Zhou is so jealous. On one day in the 13th year reign of Chongzhen (1640), the noble concubine Tian paid a visit to empress Zhou as usual, while the empress deliberately let her wait in the cold outside the palace. Afterwards, noble concubine Tian told the emperor about it, causing a quarrel between the emperor and empress. Later, in order to maintain the dignity of the empress Zhou, the emperor had to order noble concubine Tian to move to Taijidian from Chengqiangong to make up for her mistakes.

2. Ming Emperor Wanli (1563 - 1620)

In the 24th year of the reign of emperor Wanli in the Ming Dynasty (1596), a lightning strike caused a fire in the Forbidden City. More than half of the royal palaces, including Qianqinggong and Kunninggong, were burned down. At the same time, the state finance was so tight and it was impossible to repair those palaces in a short time. So the emperor Wanli lived in Taijidian for some time.

3. Qing Empress Dowager Cixi (1835 - 1908) and Ci’an (1837 - 1881)

They are concubines of emperor Xianfeng, who actually lived in Palace of Eternal Spring (Changchungong), which has been connected with Taijidian at that time. They both lived in this palace for a period as back seat drivers for emperor Tongzhi.

4. Qing Empress Longyu (1868 - 1913)

She is the empress of emperor Guangxu. On February 12, 1912, she was forced to sign the “Imperial Edict on the Abdication of the Qing Emperor” which made her feel that she was the sinner of Qing dynasty. Since then she stayed in Taijidian with tears all day long until she died on February 22, 1913, at the age of 46.

5. Qing Concubine Yu (1856 - 1932)

She is the concubine of emperor Tongzhi. Before emperor Puyi was forced to leave the Forbidden City, she lived in Taijidian for some time.

Historical Origin of Taijidian

In 220, Cao Pi proclaimed himself emperor and established the state of Wei with the capital in Luoyang city. Workers began to restore the imperial palace, North Palace, which had been built during Eastern Han Dynasty (25 -220), and the first Tianjidian in China history was built then. Taijidian was the main hall of the royal palace and center of the Luoyang city. It consisted of three large buildings arranged in east-west direction, forming the only central axis for the whole palace as well as the city. From then on till the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), Taijidian had always been the main hall of the imperial palace. The country's political activities, the new emperor ascending ceremony, national amnesty announcement, and other important state activities were all held in Taijidian. And its design was imitated by the later Song (960 - 1279), Yuan(1271 - 1368), Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1636 - 1912) dynasties, and spread to other countries of east Asia.

See more Six Western Palaces

- Last updated on Jul. 22, 2020 -
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