Located at the center of the ancient city of Beijing, the Forbidden City, is known as the Palace Museum, is the largest and most complete Forbidden City in China. Twenty-four emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties lived and ruled China from there. Indeed, the Forbidden City is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world, and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987.
The Forbidden City is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. Visitors can see the traditional palace architecture, enjoy the treasures kept in the palace, and learn of the legends and anecdotes about the imperial family and the court.
The Forbidden City firstly constructed in 1406 and was completed in 1420, covering an area of 780,000 square meters. The main buildings are constructed along the north-south axis of Beijing. The throne symbolizing imperial power is positioned at the center of this central axis
The Forbidden City is a rectangle, with a gate on each side. It is surrounded by a 10-meter-high city wall and a 52-meter-wide moat. At the four corners of the wall sit unique and delicately structured watch towers. These afford fine views over both the Palace and the City outside.
Traditionally, it is divided into two parts, the Outer Court and the Inner Court. The Outer Court or Front Court includes the southern sections, and was used for ceremonial purposes. Main buildings include the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony, and the Hall of Preserving Harmony. Of these, the Hall of Supreme Harmony is the largest and most important, as well as being the highest-grade ancient building. It was only used for ceremonial purposes such as coronations, investitures and imperial weddings.
The Inner Court or Back Palace includes the northern sections, and was the residence of the Emperor and his family, being used for day-to-day affairs of state and religious activities. At the center of the Inner Court is another set of three halls. These are the Palace of Heavenly Purity, the Hall of Union and the Palace of Earthy Tranquility. These red-walled, yellow-tiled buildings are resplendent and magnificent, demonstrating the feudal concept of etiquette in ancient China.