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Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Forbidden City, also known as palace museum, is the largest and best preserved imperial residence in China today. Beijing Forbidden City is the head of the world's top five palaces. Forbidden City was begun to built in 1406 and it took 14 years to finish. The first ruler who actually lived here was Ming Emperor Zhudi. The distance from north to south is 961 meters, and 753 meters from east to west, and the area of about 725,000 square meters. The Imperial Palace has 8704 rooms. In 1987 Forbidden City was recognized as a world cultural legacy.

Forbidden City buildings are divided into two parts "outer palaces" and "inner courts". The outer palaces, centered by Taihe Palace, Zhonghe Palace and Baohe Palace are places where emperors hold meetings and exercise power; while inner courts, centered by Qianqing Palace, Jiaotai Palace, Kunning Palace, are residences for emperors and imperial concubines.

Every detail of construction, including location, shape, color, reflects the concept that imperial power comes first. For instance, the main color of walls and roofs in Forbidden City are red and yellow. Red represents happiness, good fortune and wealth. Yellow is the color of the earth on the Loess Plateau, the original home of the Chinese people. Yellow became an imperial color during the Tang dynasty, when only members of the royal family were allowed to wear and use it in their architecture.

Dragon, lion and other animals are a symbol of good fortune and dignity. The pine trees and cypress trees and the pavilions make people feel beautiful and quiet.

There are four entrances into the city. The Meridian Gate to the south, the Shenwu Gate (Gate of Military Prowess) to the north, the Donghua to the east, and the Xihua Gate to the west.