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Gu Gong - The Imperial Palace
2004/06/09



  The Imperial Palace, also known as the Forbidden City, was the imperial palace of emperors in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is located at the center of Beijing. The construction began in the 4th year of the reign of Yongle Emperor (1406) in the Ming Dynasty, and completed 14 years later (1420). There were 14 emperors in the Ming Dynasty and 10 emperors in the Qing Dynasty had been enthroned and ruled here.
   
  The Forbidden City, rectangular in shape and 720,000 square meters in size, owns 9,999 and half rooms, the floor space of which is about 160,000 square meters. The palaces are surrounded by purplish-red walls 3,400 meters long and a moat 52 meters wide 4.1 meters deep.   At the middle of each four walls stands a gate tower; the Meridian Gate in the south, the Godly Prowess Gate in the north, the Donghua Gate in the east, the Xihua Gate in the west, and at each of the four comers stands a tower. The whole Forbidden City looks like a strongly fortified castle.
   
  It is composed of two parts, the outer palace where the emperors held grand ceremonies, and discoed state affairs with high-ranking officials and the inner palace where emperors conducted routine govemment affairs and empresses, concubines, princes, princesses resided, amused themselves and worshipped gods. There are 920, 000 pieces of historical relics in the Imperial Palace. It is the largest and most complete existing ancient wooden architectural complex both in China and in the world.



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