photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Luis Curran | profile | all galleries >> China 1992 to Present >> Forbidden City tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Forbidden City

Lying at the center of Beijing, the Forbidden City, called Gu Gong, in Chinese, was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter high wall are 9,999 buildings. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Devine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 meters, while the distance between the gates in the east and west walls is 750 meters. There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924 when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. Having been the imperial palace for some five centuries, it houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world wide.

Construction of the palace complex began in 1407, the 5th year of the Yongle reign of the third emperor of the Ming dynasty. It was completed fourteen years later in 1420. It was said that a million workers including one hundred thousand artisans were driven into the long-term hard labor. Stone needed was quarried from Fangshan, a suburb of Beijing. It was said a well was dug every fifty meters along the road in order to pour water onto the road in winter to slide huge stones on ice into the city. Huge amounts of timber and other materials were freighted from faraway provinces. Ancient Chinese people displayed their very considerable skills in building the Forbidden City. Take the grand red city wall for example. It has an 8.6 meters wide base reducing to 6.66 meters wide at the top. The angular shape of the wall totally frustrates attempts to climb it. The bricks were made from white lime and glutinous rice while the cement is made from glutinous rice and egg whites. These incredible materials make the wall extraordinarily strong.

Since yellow is the symbol of the royal family, it is the dominant color in the Forbidden City. Roofs are built with yellow glazed tiles; decorations in the palace are painted yellow; even the bricks on the ground are made yellow by a special process. However, there is one exception. Wenyuange, the royal library, has a black roof. The reason is that it was believed black represented water then and could extinguish fire.

Nowadays, the Forbidden City, or the Palace Museum is open to tourists from home and abroad. Splendid painted decoration on these royal architectural wonders, the grand and deluxe halls, with their surprisingly magnificent treasures will certainly satisfy 'modern civilians'.
XIMG_6070.jpg
XIMG_6070.jpg
XIMG_6066.jpg
XIMG_6066.jpg
XIMG_6069.jpg
XIMG_6069.jpg
Main Entrance
Main Entrance
XIMG_6072.jpg
XIMG_6072.jpg
XIMG_6074.jpg
XIMG_6074.jpg
XIMG_6077.jpg
XIMG_6077.jpg
XIMG_6078.jpg
XIMG_6078.jpg
XIMG_6079.jpg
XIMG_6079.jpg
XIMG_6081.jpg
XIMG_6081.jpg
XIMG_6082.jpg
XIMG_6082.jpg
XIMG_6096.jpg
XIMG_6096.jpg
XIMG_6098.jpg
XIMG_6098.jpg
XIMG_6105.jpg
XIMG_6105.jpg
XIMG_6107.jpg
XIMG_6107.jpg
XIMG_6111.jpg
XIMG_6111.jpg
XIMG_6128.jpg
XIMG_6128.jpg
XIMG_6129.jpg
XIMG_6129.jpg
XIMG_6130.jpg
XIMG_6130.jpg
XIMG_6131.jpg
XIMG_6131.jpg
XIMG_6132.jpg
XIMG_6132.jpg
XIMG_6133.jpg
XIMG_6133.jpg
XIMG_6136.jpg
XIMG_6136.jpg
XIMG_6139.jpg
XIMG_6139.jpg
XIMG_6142.jpg
XIMG_6142.jpg
XIMG_6147.jpg
XIMG_6147.jpg
XIMG_6152.jpg
XIMG_6152.jpg
XIMG_6157.jpg
XIMG_6157.jpg
XIMG_6158.jpg
XIMG_6158.jpg
XIMG_6161.jpg
XIMG_6161.jpg
XIMG_6163.jpg
XIMG_6163.jpg
XIMG_6164.jpg
XIMG_6164.jpg
XIMG_6165.jpg
XIMG_6165.jpg
XIMG_6166.jpg
XIMG_6166.jpg
XIMG_6169.jpg
XIMG_6169.jpg
XIMG_6172.jpg
XIMG_6172.jpg
XIMG_6173.jpg
XIMG_6173.jpg
XIMG_6175.jpg
XIMG_6175.jpg
XIMG_6177.jpg
XIMG_6177.jpg
XIMG_6179.jpg
XIMG_6179.jpg
XIMG_6181.jpg
XIMG_6181.jpg
XIMG_6186.jpg
XIMG_6186.jpg
XIMG_6189.jpg
XIMG_6189.jpg
XIMG_6191.jpg
XIMG_6191.jpg
XIMG_6192.jpg
XIMG_6192.jpg
XIMG_6195.jpg
XIMG_6195.jpg
XIMG_6204.jpg
XIMG_6204.jpg
XIMG_6206.jpg
XIMG_6206.jpg
XIMG_6207.jpg
XIMG_6207.jpg
XIMG_6209.jpg
XIMG_6209.jpg
XIMG_6210.jpg
XIMG_6210.jpg
XIMG_6213.jpg
XIMG_6213.jpg
XIMG_6220.jpg
XIMG_6220.jpg
XIMG_6223.jpg
XIMG_6223.jpg
XIMG_6227.jpg
XIMG_6227.jpg
XIMG_6229.jpg
XIMG_6229.jpg
XIMG_6240.jpg
XIMG_6240.jpg
XIMG_6241.jpg
XIMG_6241.jpg
xIMG_6221.jpg
xIMG_6221.jpg