The old Imperial Palace of China is located in the center of the city of Peking. It used to belong to the royal family during the reign of Ming Dynasty that ruled the country from 1368 to 1644 and the Qing Dynasty that ruled from 1644 till 1917.
This huge remarkable palace was named the Forbidden City as no one except the royal family, princes, high officials, and nobles were allowed to enter inside the palace that welcomes hundreds of tourists nowadays visiting it as part of theirChina tours
The construction work of the Imperial Palace of China has started in 1406 and it was basically finished in 1420 and it is considered to be the largest and best preserved complex of royal palaces in China which is often visited by tourists when they travel to China
This complex of royal palaces is located on an axial line stretching from the North of the old city of Peking till its South with eight kilometers long
The surface area of the Forbidden City is around seven hundred and twenty square kilometers, with the length, from South to North, being 960 meters, and its width, from East to West, being 750 meters. The total surface area of all the structures of the imperial palaces is around 150 square kilometers, with more than 8700 rooms. This offers the guests coming from different regions for a vacation in China to view the greatness of the Chinese historical architecture.
A wonderful custom tour to China would include the Imperial Palace, The Great Walls of China, and many other remarkable monuments as well.
On the four corners of this great historical complex of palaces, there are four amazingly decorated compartments. The design of these structures was rather very complicated as it used to consist of 8 main pillars, 18 columns, and 72 sub pillars.
The Imperial Palace of Peking was added to the UNESCO list of cultural heritage in 1978. Nowadays, the palace complex exhibits around one million displays and it was transformed into a comprehensive museum with a mixture of ancient architectural arts, imperial antiquities, and several types of other ancient art. The Imperial Palace is usually included China packages and it is a part of many affordable tours to Chinaas well.
The gates of the Palace
The main gate of the Imperial Palace is the Meridian Gate located at the Southern section of the walls. This gate with the name "Wumen" was where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties use to enter and exit from the palaces complex when they visited the temples located near the Forbidden City. Today these gates serve as the entrance point for many tourists who travel to China
During the period of the Ming Dynasty, the Wumen Gate, consisting of five doors, had strict regulations for passing through its doors. The Emperor only was allowed to enter and exit from the middle door. This is besides the wife of the emperor, who was only allowed to enter through the middle door in the day of her marriage.
Moreover, the winners of the first three positions of the national examination to choose imperial employees were granted with the honor of exiting the complex from the middle door as a reflection of the emperor respect and admiration.
The two doors to the left and the right of the middle door were specified for the entrances and exits of the princes, royal relatives, ministers, and governmental officers; either civilian or military employees.
The last two doors located at the end of the left side and the right side of the Wumen Gate were usually closed most of the time and they were not opened except during the general assembly of the Empire or on the day of the national examination to choose the governmental employees.
The platform of the Wumen Gate looks similar to the wings of a wild goose and it has the same name in the Chinese language. This was where the two structures hosting the bells and the drums of the palace were located.
The bells were rang and the drums were played in certain occasions that include the freeing of prisoners, the return of the Emperor military forces after achieving a great victory, the declaration of a new year that holds the name of the emperor, and on the 15th day of the first month of Chinese calendar when the Emperor used to prepare a luxurious banquet for the people as a celebration of the festival
The gate situated in the Northern section of the walls of the Imperial Palace has the name of "the gate of Divine Might" and was where the Emperor of China used to meet with his high governmental officers every day to discuss the matters of the country and this was where the throne of the emperor was positioned.
On both sides of the gate of Divine power, there are two copper statues of lions that were the symbol of the Empire's prestige and power. The ancient Chinese believed that the lion is a sacred animal symbolizing dignity and solemnity and this was why a statue of a lion was put in front of any major gate in ancient China.
The royal garden of the palace
The royal garden of the palace is around 12 square kilometers in surface area. The garden has many types and species of trees like pine trees and many other kinds. This is besides many rare roses, bizarre looking rocks, and artificial rivers and mountains.
The royal garden, hosting more some trees that back to 300 years, is one of the major attractions of the Imperial Palace of China.
A strange tree, located in the center of the royal garden, is actually notable because it is in fact a combination of two types of trees. The branches of this tree overlap each others in harmony. This was why this tree, which was planted in the 18th century, is the symbol of marital bliss for many Chinese.
The museum of the Forbidden City
The museum of the Forbidden City is among the most remarkable museums in China as it contains rare priceless displays. The museum offers an enjoyable experience to its guests enjoying their groups 'tours in China with plenty of information and historical facts.
The Forbidden City is the largest complex of historical palaces in China. More than 24 emperors have governed China from the Imperial Palace for a period that exceeds five centuries.
After the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese government has paid great attention to the museum of the Imperial palace and every year an amount of money is specified for its restoration and reformation.
The museum of the Forbidden City opens from 8 30 in the morning till 4 30 in the afternoon and it usually welcomes hundreds of tourists everyday visiting the Forbidden City as part of their holidays in China.
The entrance tickets cost from 40m to 60 Chinese Yuan (equivalent to 5 to 8 American dollars). However, usually the tickets to monuments and historical sites are included in the price of any China tours.