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A stroll through the Forbidden City (Pics)



The most majestic palace in the People’s Republic of China is located in the center of its capital, Beijing.

This palace is also known as the ‘Palace Museum’.

However, this place, which is now known as the Palace Museum, was referred to as the ‘Forbidden City’ in the past.

The Forbidden City’s history dates back to more than 600 years.

The palace was built between the period of the Ming Dynasty which was in power from 1368 to 1644 BC and the Qing Dynasty which was in power from 1644 to 1911.

The Forbidden City was the home to 24 emperors of China.

The construction of the palace began by the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Yongle, in 1406 and was completed in 1420.

Fourteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty ruled the empire from the palace until it was taken over by the Manchus in 1644.

Chinese history says the Manchus moved the capital to Shenyang for a few months after they conquered the palace.

The Forbidden City later fell to the hands of the Qing Dynasty and has been home to 10 emperors of the Qing Dynasty ever since.

The city was the seat of the Qing dynasty until the last emperor abdicated in 1912 following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

Considered to be the world’s largest imperial palace, it is said to be three times larger than the Louvre Palace in France.

The Forbidden City which is 7,750,000 square feet in size has been completed with the contribution of a million laborers.

It consists of more than 90 palace quarters and courtyards, 980 buildings and over 8,728 rooms.

The architects have designed it in a way that birds are unable to roost on the roofs of the Forbidden City.

The spaces between the tiles on the high roofs have been widened in order to retain the cleanliness and splendor of the city.

It is said that the colors of the Forbidden City are based on Feng Shui, and therefore, yellow and red colors can be seen often.

Buildings of European and Arabian architecture are also located within the premises. 

It was said that part of the old collection at the museum is still in Taiwan as a result of removing some national treasures from the Forbidden City during the Japanese invasion in 1933.

Following the end of World War II, part of the collection was returned from Taiwan, but some of the artefacts are kept in the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

Many people here believe that a visit to the Forbidden City is incomplete without a visit to Jingshan Park.

If you wish to see just how enormous and majestic the Forbidden City is, you must visit the nearby Jingshan Park where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire complex from top of a hill.

(Kelum Shivantha reporting from Beijing, China)

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