Beijing Forbidden City

Beijing Forbidden City
Beijing Forbidden City

Although it is true that throughout history there have been many palatial complexes that have been built and even more so their artistic and cultural quality, no less remarkable is the fact that on any of these buildings stands out a palatial complex that is considered to be the largest complex ever built by man, the Forbidden City of Beijing.


Located in the very center of the city of Beijing and no less than five hundred years old, this complex was the center of political life in China as well as the home of its rulers for no less than five centuries. The works were carried out throughout the fifteenth century in what was known as the Imperial City; the Hongwu emperor moved the capital to Nanjing but with the coming to power of his son Zhu Di, he moved again to Beijing and began the spectacular construction of this complex that occupies more than seven hundred and twenty thousand square meters and in whose inside we find more than nine hundred and eighty different buildings.

The city has a rectangular shape –the long side of the rectangle measures about nine hundred and sixty meters and the short side is just over seven hundred and fifty- and inside there are about nine hundred and eighty buildings, all of them built with wood -no in vain the palace is the largest wooden construction in the world - which was extracted from the jungles and marblecoming from the quarries located on the outskirts of Beijing. The City shows great importance for Asian palatial architecture, becoming an axis of reference but also for the urban planning of the city of Beijing, since the main axis of the Forbidden City marks the axis that the entire city follows.

The City is also a walled complex with thick mud walls covered by fired bricks both on the inside and outside and a large flooded moat of more than six meters deep and fifty meters wide. In each of the sections of the wall the access doors to the enclosure are opened, all of them are doors with two leaves and decorated with rows of nails arranged nine by nine -except the East door that only has rows of eight nails- In addition, in each of the corners of the walled area there is a tower with very elaborate roofs.

The interior is traditionally divided into two well-defined areas, on the one hand the Outer Courtyard which, together with the different rooms it included, were used for ceremonies and the Inner Courtyard together with its rooms that were destined for the emperor's house.

In 1987, the Forbidden City of Beijing was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and since 1925 it has been controlled by the Palace Museum, also housing the collections of the Ming and Quing families.

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