Surprising Facts About the Forbidden City – You Didn’t Know Before

History Of The Forbidden City

Becoming familiar with the facts about the forbidden city (built from 1406 to 1420) is merely the first step. Let’s take an overview first. The Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing known as the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is the largest antiquated palace architecture in the world, and was the main imperial palace of China’s final two dynasties. As a result, the Forbidden City holds a great deal of cultural and historic significance for China and its people. The vastness of the complex conveys a sense of grandeur that remains unmatched even today, making it an essential part of Chinese history and culture.

Buildings in the forbidden city are mostly historical and represent Chinese culture. Also in this article, we’ll discuss some interesting stories and some facts you didn’t know before. Let’s have a look:

Where Is The Forbidden City?

Where Is The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is located in Dongcheng District, Beijing, China, in the Imperial City of Beijing. Surrounded by lavish imperial gardens, stately monuments, and temples, Shenzhen includes 22 hectares (54 acres) of Zhongshan Park, the sacrificial Imperial Ancestral Temple, 69 hectares (171 acres) of Beihai Park, and 23 hectares (57 acres) of Jingshan Park.

History Of The Forbidden City

History Of The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City in Beijing is one of the largest and best-preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. The city was constructed between 1406 and 1420, and was the winter residence of the Emperor of China from the Ming dynasty (until the Yongle Emperor) until the end of the Qing dynasty, between 1420 and 1924. The Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors, their families, and servants during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing emperor(1644–1911) dynasties.

Forbidden City served as a home to Chinese rulers and a center for government ceremonies for 500 years. Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been overseen by the Palace Museum, whose great art gallery and relics were formed from the legacy of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Forbidden City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.

Emperors Of The Forbidden City

Emperors Of The Forbidden City

The last emperor of the Ming dynasty, or Ming seat of power, was in the Forbidden City from 1420 to 1644. In April 1644, a rebel force led by Emperor Li Zicheng captured the city. He fled to parts that were burning before the combined armies of former Ming general Wu Sangui and Manchu forces, setting fire to the Forbidden City in the process.

During the Second Opium War, Anglo-French forces occupied the Forbidden City until the end of the war. [26] In 1900 Empress Dowager Cixi fled from the Forbidden City during the Boxer Rebellion, leaving it occupied by powers of the treaty during the following year.

After being the home of twelve emperors during the Ming dynasty and 10 of the Qing dynasty, the Forbidden City ceased to be the political center of China when Puyi stepped down as the last emperor in 1912, a concession to the host country relinquishing its governance of the Inner Court. After offering to manage Taiping Heavenly Kingdom as part of an agreement with the new government of China, Puyi remained in the Inner Court while the court was given over to public use.

The Establishment Of The People’s Republic Of China

The Establishment Of The People’s Republic Of China

After the creation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Forbidden City was damaged by revolutionary fervor. While Chairman Mao Zedong was leading the country through the Cultural Revolution, however, additional damage was prevented by designating an ongoing army to protect the site.

Construction Of The Forbidden City (1406 to 1420)

Construction Of The Forbidden City

The forbidden city was designed by a Chinese architect, Kuai Xiang The construction of the forbidden city began in 1406 and lasted 14 years. It required more than a million workers to complete the complex. The Palace Museum was then set up in the Forbidden City in 1925.

Material Used In The Construction

Material Used In The Construction

Precious Phoebe Zhennan wood, found in the jungles of southwestern China, was used to construct the forbidden city. Huge blocks of marble extracted from quarries in Beijing were used as well. The major areas of palaces were lined with “golden bricks,” exclusively baked paving bricks from Suzhou, China, used in the construction of the city center.

The Forbidden City’s Structure?

The Forbidden City Structure

The Forbidden City is a rectangle, that measures 961 meters (3,153 feet) from north to south and 753 meters (2,470 feet) from east to west. 980 buildings were built in the complex, encompassing 8,886 rooms, and covering 720,000 m2 (72 acres). A common fallacy says there are 9,999 rooms in palaces, based on folk tradition. No ample research has confirmed that assertion. It has more than 90 palace quarters

The Forbidden City is a city with palaces traditionally fit only for emperors, and palaces across China have shown Asian architecture and design throughout history.

The treasuries of the emperor gave Chinese palatial architecture its opulent and relaxed style, and visitors were awed by the palace’s splendid structures. This style influenced the development of architecture and culture throughout East Asia and beyond. It showcases the largest collection of preserved wooden structures in the world, as recognized by UNESCO.

Roofs In The Forbidden City

Roofs In The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City, located in Beijing, China, is a sprawling complex of palaces and fortifications that served as the imperial palace for emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is an incredibly popular tourist destination due to its rich history and grandeur. One element of the Forbidden City that has captivated onlookers throughout its centuries-long existence are its majestic roofs.

The roof structure found throughout the Forbidden City consists of clay tiles formed in intricate designs atop wooden rafters, which often feature carvings and other decorations. This traditional Chinese style of roofing was typical in Chinese architecture during this period.

Residences Of The Imperial Palace

Residences Of The Imperial Palace

The Forbidden City, also known as the Imperial Palace, is a vast complex of palaces and gardens in the heart of Beijing. It served as the home and palace for twenty-four Chinese emperors between 1420 and 1911. This exquisitely designed and decorated citadel was heavily guarded by imperial guards, who strictly enforced access only for those with authorization, even the imperial family.

The walled city has more than 900 buildings and 8000 rooms, used by the imperial family, making it one of the largest ancient residential complexes in the world. Each room in the Forbidden City has its own unique purpose and design. Its overwhelming grandeur showcases an exquisite blend of traditional Chinese architecture along with unique elements from different regions within China. The roofs are adorned with beautiful yellow glazed tiles shaped like animals that symbolize power and authority, while meticulous paintings decorate walls, ceilings, and wood panels throughout the residences.

Walls And Gates In The Forbidden City

Walls And Gates In The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is framed by a 7.9 m (26 ft) tall wall, with floors at 6 m (20 ft) deep and 52 m (171 ft) wide subsiding toward the top. The outer made it 8.62 m (28.3 ft) wide at the base, before getting thinner, to 6.66 m (21.9 ft) wide, at its peak. These walls were used to both increase the strength of the structure and for decoration.

At the four corners of the wall sit towers called (E) with intricate roofs featuring 72 ridges, resembling the Pavilion of Prince Teng and the Yellow Crane Pavilion as they appeared in Song dynasty paintings. The best elements of this historic palace are the marquee towers, as defined by widespread opinion. A lot of well-known stories are also associated with them.

A gate is pierced by partitions on the outer side. There’s a turnstile in the middle called Meridian Gate. At the north is the Gate of Divine Might, which faces Jingshan Park. The East and West Gates are called the Eastern Glorious Gate and the Great Western Gate, respectively. All doors in the Forbidden City are decorated with nine rows of golden nails, except for the East Glorious Gate, which has only eight rows.

As one approaches the Inner Golden Water River Gate, one will reach a large area lined with the Meridian Gate, in which the meandering Inner Golden Water River flows. Proceeding as far as the gate is the Great Golden Hall. On a side of the great stone building one will find the Gate of Supreme Harmony (F). Behind the huge structure is the Hall of Supreme Harmony Square.

Outer Court And The Inner Court Of The Forbidden City

Outer Court And The Inner Court Of The Forbidden City

The traditional Forbidden City is composed of two portions, the outer court and the inner court. The court in which citizens gathered for meetings and warm greetings was known as the Outer Court. The Inner Court or Back Palace includes the northern sections. The inner court was the residence of the Emperor and his family and was used for day-to-day affairs of state.

Public and domestic spheres are clearly divided in the Forbidden City. This outer court belonged to civil affairs, with only men having access to its particular venues. It featured the emperor’s official reception halls, spaces designated for religious rituals and state ceremonies, as well as the Meridian Gate (Wayou), located at the south end of one of the main thoroughfares, where only the emperor conducted official affairs.

The inner court is the domestic space, dedicated to the imperial family. The inner court includes the palaces in the northern part of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Here, 3 of the most important palaces align with the center axis of the capital: the emperor’s palace complex called the Know of Heavenly Purity (Qianqinggong) is to the south, followed by the emperor’s palace called the Hidden of Tranquility (Kunninggong) to the north. The Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union (Jiaotaidian), a smaller square building for imperial weddings and familial ceremonies, is sandwiched in between.

The Hall Of Supreme Harmony

The Hall Of Supreme Harmony The Forbidden City

The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the largest building within the Forbidden City walls and was once used for important ceremonies such as coronations and imperial weddings. The Hall of Central Harmony served as an audience chamber for visiting dignitaries, while the Hall of Earthly Tranquility was used as a venue for weddings between members of the imperial family.

Layout Of The Forbidden City

Layout Of The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City, located in the heart of Beijing, China, has been a captivating destination for millions of tourists from around the world. It is considered to be one of the most impressive pieces of ancient Chinese architecture and was once home to the majestic imperial palace for over 500 years. The layout and design of this gigantic complex are awe-inspiring, with their intricate palaces, pavilions, gardens, and courtyards.

The Forbidden City is laid out according to traditional Chinese cosmological principles known as feng shui. This system considers certain directional relationships between man-made structures in order to create balance within their environment. It consists of two main axes that intersect at its center: the central axis line runs north-south, while the east-west axis line divides the city into two symmetrical halves.

Annual Visitors Of The Forbidden City

Annual Visitors Of The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City has been a tourist destination since 2012. In 2019, it had more than 19 million visitors. It has an average of eighty thousand visitors every day.

Why Is the Forbidden City So Special?

Why Is the Forbidden City So Special

We have discussed some interesting facts about the forbidden city. The Forbidden City is the world’s largest imperial palace. For over 500 years, the Forbidden City was the political and ritual center of China. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic buildings in the world. The palace was built by various emperors over a period of more than 500 years, and it has an incredible history. The Forbidden City is very special because it was home to many important Chinese leaders, and it is also where many important ceremonies took place. The imperial palace is a relic of historic significance that has been around for centuries in China and around the world.


When you visit the Forbidden City, it will provide you with an opportunity to explore the ancient China history, cultural relics, and civilization of this amazing city.

The Forbidden City is one of the largest and most well-preserved imperial palace complex in the capital city of Beijing, China. It is made up of 980 buildings and 8,707 rooms that include palaces, gardens, pavilions, temples, towers, and walls. It was designed as a divine place where heaven and earth were united by its grandeur. Not only is it revered for its rich cultural heritage but also for its stunning architecture, which features grand courtyards lined with yellow glazed tiles representing imperial power. The architecture here is sure to captivate tourists from all around the world!

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I am Sarah Waqas. I’m a professional content creator with a passion for writing travel blogs. I enjoy researching and writing about new places to visit.  My goal is to always provide my readers with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. I also enjoy interacting with my readers and hearing their feedback.

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