Mukden Palace

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Shenyang Imperial Palace Museum
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Bird's-eye view of the Mukden Palace
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Location within Liaoning
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Mukden Palace (China)
LocationNo. 171, Shenyang Road, Shenhe District, Shenyang, Liaoning
Coordinates 41°47′46″N123°27′03″E / 41.796161°N 123.450708°E / 41.796161; 123.450708
Type Art museum, Imperial Palace, Historic site
Visitors1.6 million [1]
CuratorBin Wu
Area6 hectares [2]
Built1625, 1631, 1780
Architect Nurhachi, Hong Taiji, Qianlong Emperor
Architectural style(s) Chinese architecture
Website (English language version) (Chinese language version)
Official nameThe Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty in Shenyang
Part ofImperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang
Criteria Cultural: i, ii, iii, iv
Reference 439bis-002
Inscription1987 (11th session)
Dazheng Hall, the earliest building in the palace Dazheng Hall 070314.jpg
Dazheng Hall, the earliest building in the palace

The Mukden Palace (simplified Chinese :盛京宫殿; traditional Chinese :盛京宮殿; pinyin :Shèngjīng Gōngdiàn), or Shenyang Imperial Palace (simplified Chinese :沈阳故宫; traditional Chinese :瀋陽故宮; pinyin :Shěnyáng Gùgōng), was the former imperial palace of the early Manchu-led Qing dynasty. It was built in 1625, and the first three Qing emperors lived there from 1625 to 1644. Since the collapse of imperial rule in China, the palace has been converted to a museum that now lies in the center of Shenyang, Liaoning.



Early construction began in 1625 by Nurhaci, the founder of the Qing dynasty. By 1631, additional structures were added during the reign of Nurhaci's successor, Hong Taiji.

The Mukden Palace was built to resemble the Forbidden City in Beijing. However, the palace also exhibits hints of Manchu and Tibetan styles.

After the Qing dynasty replaced the Ming dynasty in 1644 in Beijing, the Mukden Palace lost its status as the official residence of the Qing emperor. Instead, the Mukden Palace became a regional palace.

In 1780, the Qianlong Emperor further expanded the palace. Successive Qing emperors usually stayed at Mukden Palace for some time each year.

In 1955, the Mukden Palace was converted into the Shenyang Imperial Palace Museum.

In 2004, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as an extension of the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, or Forbidden City, in Beijing.


The Mukden Palace covers an area of around 60,000 square meters, with over 300 buildings and 20 courtyards. According to its layout, it can be divided into three parts: East Section, Middle Section and West Section, and set Middle Section as the main body. The East and West Sections were built in the Nurhachi Period. The layout of the building from the Eight Banners system in the East Section is a unique feature of the Mukden Palace. It is the stereotype of the minority system reflect on the architecture of the Qing Dynasty. It fully combines the integration of the architectural features of Han, Manchu and Mongolian ethnic minority.

The main part of the Middle Section is located in the centre of the ancient city of Shenyang, built in the Hong Taiji period. The buildings are arranged on a central axis with a number of symmetrical out-buildings on either side. The West Road building was built in 1783.

This kind of structure constitute with a clear primary and secondary status, strict functional division, and centralized the overall composition with obviously Manchu living feature, but also have disadvantages which are full in the column but lack in row. [3]

East Section

The Dazheng Hall(大政殿) and the Shiwang Pavilion(十王亭)built for the Nurhachi period. It was founded in 1625 and is the place where the emperor held the "Great Ceremony" and the office of the Eight Banners Minister. Dazheng Temple is an octagonal heavy-duty building with a yellow glazed tile and green trimming, 16 multicoloured glazed ridges, large wooden frame structure, with Mortise and tenon joint, flying roof arch, colour painting and dragon plate, which is the traditional architectural form of the Han Dynasty. Additionally, the decoration of Cintamani and the Sanskrit ceiling add the feature of the religious and ethnic minority architecture style. The layout of the DazhengHall and the Shiwang Pavilion constitute a complete group of buildings in the East Section.

Middle Section

Daqing Gate(大清门), Chongzheng Hall(崇政殿), Fenghuang Building(凤凰楼), Qingning Palace(清宁宫), etc., it was built from 1627 to 1635. It was the place where the emperor carried out political activities and the living palace of the Royal Intermarriage wives. The most representative building of the middle section is the Fenghuang Building, a palace which was built on the 4-meter-tall blue-brick platform, as the place of the emperor holding banquets and Sightseeing point. It opens in the east, the palace in Fenghuang Building is connected with religious rituals, and the room in the west is surrounded by Kang bed-stove, which uses as a way to keep warm in Northern part of China, and the chimney is located at the back, which is an architectural feature of the Manchu People.

West Section

Stage(戏台), Jiayintang(嘉荫堂), Wenshangge(文溯阁) and Yangxizhai(仰熙斋) were built in 1782. When the emperor of Qing dynasty "East Tour" to Shengjing (Shenyang), It was the place reading books, watching dramas and room of storing "Siku Quanshu". The entire architectural design and layout reflect the emperor's so-called "dignity" and strict feudal hierarchy. Under the social conditions of the time, the feudal rulers built palaces of this size, which brought great suffering and disaster to the working people, drove thousands of craftsmen and peasants, working day and night. Every temple in the Forbidden City, every brick and tile, every stone and wood, condenses the wisdom and blood of the working people. The manpower and material resources of building this palace cannot be counted. In Mukden Palace, only the roof is worth 680,000 Tael, which is equivalent to the annual ration of 450,000 poor peasants.[ citation needed ]

The Mukden Palace is not only an ancient palace complex but also famous for its rich and precious collections both in domestic and international. The Mukden Palace Museum displays a large number of artifacts which are left in the old-time, such as the sword of Nurhachi, the waist knife and antler chairs of Hong Taiji.[ citation needed ]

layout of the Mukden Palace Mukden Palace.svg
layout of the Mukden Palace


The collections of the Mukden Palace Museum are based on the Qing imperial collection, including porcelain, enamel, lacquerware, sculpture, calligraphy and painting, weaving embroidery, etc. Which has both the historical and cultural features of the Early and late Qing dynasty costumes and palace art that has a rich cultural connotation and artistic value. [4]

Visit Information

Ticketing Time

From April 10 to October 10, 8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m. stop selling tickets.

From October 11 to April 09th, 9:00 a.m.- 16:30 p.m.,3:45 p.m. stop selling tickets. Closed every Monday morning (except public holidays, July and August), opens at 13:00 p.m.


Adult ¥60

Children under 1.3m FREE (with legal guardian)


Older people over the age of 70, active military personnel, disabled military personnel, and disabled persons, with valid certificates ticket for free. [5]

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