Hello Children, today I am at Beijing and this large arcade of red walls and yellow glazed roof tiles you see behind me is the Forbidden City.
History of the Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was built between 1406 and 1420 under the orders of the powerful Yongle Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. It was built to protect the Emperor and his family. It is a micro city in its own. For 500 years this Forbidden City was the political and ritual center of china. It was home to 24 emperors, their families and servants. The city had been home to 24 Chinese Emperors. In 1925 the precinct was transformed into the Palace Museum and the last emperor, Puyi was expelled. It still remains a cultural heritage site and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in China.
Features of the Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is surrounded by a 26 feet high wall and 170 feet wide moat. It is composed of more than 90 palace compounds and 98 buildings all aligned in a straight line from north to south. Each corner of the palace has a tall guard tower where soldiers were kept to keep a watch for enemies. The main gate of the city is the Meridian gate to the south. Each side of the city has one gate. The southern part of the palace is known as the outer court where the emperor used to conduct official ceremonies. Towards the north is the inner court where the emperor and his family lived. The emperor slept in a building called Palace of Heavenly Purity and the empress lived in a building called the Palace of Earthly Tranquillity.
3 Interesting facts about Forbidden City
- The Forbidden City is home to curated collection of Chinese historical artefacts. I saw an array of ancient treasures, porcelain and jade, gardens and plazas.
- The imperial dishes were created by the chefs at the Forbidden City. You can too enjoy and dine like an imperial ruler. Many restaurants located near the Forbidden City offer you great cuisine.
- You can visit the Forbidden City without a Visa and that too for 3 days! Beijing became 72 hours Visa free in 2013.