Forbidden City

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Palace color decorative painting.JPG
Imperial Palace color of the highest status on the roof ridge of the Hall of Supreme Harmony

The design of the Forbidden City, from its overall layout to the smallest detail, was meticulously planned to reflect philosophical and religious principles, and above all to symbolize the majesty of Imperial power. Some noted examples of symbolic designs include:

Collections

Palace Museum exhibits on display in the corridor connecting the Hall of Literary Glory and the Hall of Main Respect Bei Jing Gu Gong 12.JPG
Palace Museum exhibits on display in the corridor connecting the Hall of Literary Glory and the Hall of Main Respect
Two Qing dynasty "blue porcelain" wares China qing two blue ceramics.JPG
Two Qing dynasty "blue porcelain" wares
A blue and white porcelain vase with cloud and dragon designs, marked with the word "Longevity" (Shou ), Jiajing period of Ming dynasty China ming blue dragons.JPG
A blue and white porcelain vase with cloud and dragon designs, marked with the word "Longevity" (寿), Jiajing period of Ming dynasty
Painting of Empress Xiaojiesu (1508-1528), first empress to the Jiajing Emperor Xiao Ji Su Huang Hou Chen Shi .jpg
Painting of Empress Xiaojiesu (1508–1528), first empress to the Jiajing Emperor

The collections of the Palace Museum are based on the Qing imperial collection, including paintings, ceramics, seals, steles, sculptures, inscribed wares, bronze wares, enamel objects, etc. According to latest audit, it has 1,862,690 pieces of art. In addition, the imperial libraries housed a large collection of rare books and historical documents, including government documents of the Ming and Qing dynasties, which has since been transferred to the First Historical Archives. [83]

From 1933, the threat of Japanese invasion forced the evacuation of the most important parts of the Museum's collection. After the end of World War II, this collection was returned to Nanjing. However, with the Communists' victory imminent in the Chinese Civil War, the Nationalist government decided to ship the pick of this collection to Taiwan. Of the 13,491 boxes of evacuated artefacts, 2,972 boxes are now housed in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. More than 8,000 boxes were returned to Beijing, but 2,221 boxes remain today in storage under the charge of the Nanjing Museum. [32]

The Palace Museum holds 340,000 pieces of ceramics and porcelain. These include imperial collections from the Tang dynasty and the Song dynasty. It has close to 50,000 paintings, within which more than 400 date from before the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), which is the largest in China. [84] Its bronze collection dates from the early Shang dynasty. Of the almost 10,000 pieces held, about 1,600 are inscribed items from the pre-Qin period (to 221 BC). A significant part of the collection is ceremonial bronzeware from the imperial court. [85] The Palace Museum has one of the largest collections of mechanical timepieces of the 18th and 19th centuries in the world, with more than 1,000 pieces. The collection contains both Chinese- and foreign-made pieces. Chinese pieces came from the palace's own workshops. Foreign pieces came from countries including Britain, France, Switzerland, the United States and Japan. Of these, the largest portion come from Britain. [86] Jade has a unique place in Chinese culture. [87] The Museum's collection includes some 30,000 pieces. The pre-Yuan dynasty part of the collection includes several pieces famed throughout history. The earliest pieces date from the Neolithic period. [88] In addition to works of art, a large proportion of the Museum's collection consists of the artifacts of the imperial court. This includes items used by the imperial family and the palace in daily life. This comprehensive collection preserves the daily life and ceremonial protocols of the imperial era. [89]

Influence

Glazed building decoration BuildingDecoration.jpg
Glazed building decoration
A gilded lion in front of the Hall of Mental Cultivation. Flickr - archer10 (Dennis) - China-6237.jpg
A gilded lion in front of the Hall of Mental Cultivation.

The Forbidden City has been influential in the subsequent development of Chinese architecture, as well as providing inspiration for many artistic works.

The Forbidden City has served as the scene to many works of fiction. In recent years, it has been depicted in films and television series. Some notable examples include:

  • The Forbidden City (1918), a fiction film about a Chinese emperor and an American.
  • The Last Emperor (1987), a biographical film about Puyi, was the first feature film ever authorised by the government of the People's Republic of China to be filmed in the Forbidden City.
  • Forbidden City Cop (1996) a Hong Kong wuxia comedy film about an imperial secret agent
  • Marco Polo , a joint NBC and RAI TV miniseries broadcast in the early 1980s, was filmed inside the Forbidden City. Note, however, that the present Forbidden City did not exist in the Yuan dynasty, when Marco Polo met Kublai Khan.
  • The 2003 real-time strategy game Rise of Nations depicts the Forbidden City as one of the great wonders of the world; in terms of game mechanics, it functions identically to a major city and provides additional resources to the player.
  • The Forbidden City is a buildable Wonder in many different titles of the Civilization series of video games.

See also

Related Research Articles

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The Palace Museum is a national museum housed in the Forbidden City at the core of Beijing. It was established in 1925 after the last Emperor of China was evicted from his palace, and opened its doors to the public.

Gate of Supreme Harmony Gate in Beijing, China

The Gate of Supreme Harmony is the second major gate in the south of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hall of Supreme Harmony</span> Hall in Beijing, China

The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the largest hall within the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. It is located at its central axis, behind the Gate of Supreme Harmony. Built above three levels of marble stone base, and surrounded by bronze incense burners, the Hall of Supreme Harmony is one of the largest wooden structures within China. It was the location where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties hosted their enthronement and wedding ceremonies. The name of the Hall was changed several times throughout the past few centuries, from its initial Fengtian Dian (奉天殿), later to Huangji Dian (皇极殿) in 1562 and to the current one by the Shunzhi Emperor of the Qing dynasty in 1645.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yonghe Temple</span> Tibetan lama temple in Beijing

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beijing city fortifications</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mukden Palace</span> Art museum, Imperial Palace, Historic site in Shenyang, Liaoning

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Palace of Heavenly Purity</span> Building in Forbidden City, China

The Palace of Heavenly Purity, or Qianqing Palace is a palace in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. It is the largest of the three halls of the Inner Court, located at the northern end of the Forbidden City. During the Qing dynasty, the palace often served as the Emperor's audience hall, where he held council with the Grand Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Imperial City, Beijing</span>

The Imperial City is a section of the city of Beijing in the Ming and Qing dynasties, with the Forbidden City at its center. It refers to the collection of gardens, shrines, and other service areas between the Forbidden City and the Inner City of ancient Beijing. The Imperial City was surrounded by a wall and accessed through seven gates and it includes historical places such as the Forbidden City, Tiananmen, Zhongnanhai, Beihai Park, Zhongshan Park, Jingshan, Imperial Ancestral Temple, and Xiancantan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chinese palace</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ming Palace</span>

The Ming Palace, also known as the "Forbidden City of Nanjing", was the 14th-century imperial palace of the early Ming dynasty, when Nanjing was the capital of China.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Forbidden City</span>

The Forbidden City was first built in the early-15th century as the palace of the Ming emperors of China. It is located in the centre of Beijing, China, and was the Chinese imperial palace from the early-Ming dynasty in 1420 to the end of the Qing dynasty in 1912, continuing to be home of the last emperor, Puyi, until 1924, since when it has been a museum.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Palace of Earthly Tranquility</span>

The Palace of Earthly Tranquility is the northernmost of the three main halls of the Inner Court of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. The other two halls are the Palace of Heavenly Purity and Hall of Union.

Imperial Ancestral Temple Building in Beijing, China

The Imperial Ancestral Temple, or Taimiao of Beijing, is a historic site in the Imperial City, just outside the Forbidden City, where during both the Ming and Qing Dynasties, sacrificial ceremonies were held on the most important festival occasions in honor of the imperial family's ancestors.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eastern Qing tombs</span> Imperial mausoleum complex of the Qing dynasty

The Eastern Qing tombs are an imperial mausoleum complex of the Qing dynasty located in Zunhua, 125 kilometres (78 mi) northeast of Beijing. They are the largest, most complete, and best preserved extant mausoleum complex in China. Altogether, five emperors, 15 empresses, 136 imperial concubines, three princes, and two princesses of the Qing dynasty are buried here. Surrounded by Changrui Mountain, Jinxing Mountain, Huanghua Mountain, and Yingfei Daoyang Mountain, the tomb complex stretches over a total area of 80 square kilometres (31 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hall of Mental Cultivation</span> Historic site in The Forbidden City

The Hall of Mental Cultivation is a building in the inner courtyard of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. The hall is a wooden structure with dome coffered ceilings, and was first built during the Ming dynasty in 1537, and was reconstructed during the Qing dynasty. During the early Qing dynasty under the reign of the Kangxi Emperor the hall was mostly used as a workshop, wherein artisan objects like clocks were designed and manufactured. From the reign of the Yongzheng Emperor during the 18th century, the hall was the residence for the emperor. Under the reign of the Qianlong Emperor until the fall of the Qing dynasty, the hall became the centre of governance and political administration. In the Western Warmth Chamber, the emperor would hold private meetings, and discuss state affairs with his mandarins. After the death of Emperor Xianfeng, from inside the Eastern Warmth Chamber, empress dowagers Ci'an and Cixi would hold audiences with ministers and rule from behind a silk screen curtain during their regencies for emperors Tongzhi and Guangxu, who both succeeded to the throne as children in the second half of the 19th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Taiye Lake</span>

Taiye Lake or Taiye Pond was an artificial lake in imperial City, Beijing during the Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties of China. The beauty and utility of the lake was responsible for the siting of Kublai Khan's palace and the position of modern Beijing. It continues to exist but it is now known separately as the "North", "Central", and "South Sea"s, the three interconnected lakes just west of the Forbidden City in downtown Beijing. The northern lake makes up the public Beihai Park while the southern two are grouped together as Zhongnanhai, the headquarters for the Communist leadership of the People's Republic of China.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Palace of Eternal Longevity</span>

Palace of Eternal Longevity one of the Six Western Palaces in the Forbidden City. It was a residence of imperial concubines since 1420.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Palace of Eternal Spring</span> One of the Six Western Palaces of the Forbidden City in Beijing

The Palace of Eternal Spring is one of the Six Western Palaces of the Forbidden City in Beijing, which used to be residences of imperial concubines. The palace is north of the Hall of the Supreme Principle, west of the Palace of Earthly Honour and north-west of the Palace of Eternal Longevity.

Consort Fang, of the Han Chinese Chen clan, was a consort of Qianlong Emperor. She and her brothers were then inducted into the a bondservant company of the Bordered Yellow Banner of the Han Chinese Eight Banners since it was required for all consorts of Qing emperors to belong to one of the Eight Banners.

The Palace of Universal Happiness is one of the six western palaces and was a residence of imperial concubines. The palace is north of the Palace of Eternal Spring, east of the Palace of Gathering Elegance and southeast of the Palace of Earthly Honour in Beijing, China.

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Further reading

Forbidden City
紫禁城
The Forbidden City - View from Coal Hill.jpg
The Forbidden City, viewed from Jingshan Hill
China Beijing adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Beijing
China edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Forbidden City (China)
Established1925
Location4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng, Beijing, China
Coordinates 39°54′57″N116°23′27″E / 39.91583°N 116.39083°E / 39.91583; 116.39083 Coordinates: 39°54′57″N116°23′27″E / 39.91583°N 116.39083°E / 39.91583; 116.39083
Type Art museum, Imperial Palace, Historic site
Visitors16.7 million [1]
Curator Wang Xudong
Area72 hectares
Built1406–1420 (Ming dynasty)
Architect Kuai Xiang
Architectural style(s) Chinese architecture
Website en.dpm.org.cn (English)
www.dpm.org.cn (Chinese)
Romanization dabkūri dorgi hoton 'Former inner city'