The first time we tried to see the Forbidden City, it was a Sunday and there were so many folk out for the day that we finally gave up. But we knew we had to see it before we left so visited it on our last day. Still very busy but at least we managed to get the feel of the place.
It was the imperial palace for twenty-four emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was first built during the reign of the Ming Emperor Chengzu (1368-1644). The stone was quarried from Fangshan District and a well was dug every fifty meters along the road in order to pour water on to the road in winter to slide huge stones on ice into the city.
The Palace is immediately north of Tiananmen Square. It is rectangular in shape and covers 74 hectares (over 180 acres). It is surrounded by a 52-meter-wide moat and a 10-meter-high wall and has more than 8,700 rooms. The distance between the Tiananmen Gate in the south and the Gate of Divine Might in the north is 960 meters, while the distance between the east and west gates is 750 meters.
All visitors now enter through the Tiananmen Gate and exit at the northern end. You can imagine the chaos at the end!
Taihemen, The Gate of Supreme Harmony
A view of the bridges over the Golden Stream
The Golden Stream
Hall of Supreme Harmony
Looking back at Wumen, The Meridian gate.
Inside Taihedian, The Hall of Supreme Harmony
Detail of the ceiling
Inside the Hall of Preserved Harmony
A study in roofs
Detail of the roof of the Hall of Heavenly Harmony
In the distance, the bell-shaped White Dagoba