Baohe hall(Hall of Preserving Harmony) Baohe means preserving things (objects) harmonized. Architecturally, the Hall of Preserving Harmony has no supporting pillars in its front part, something typical of Ming architecture. In the Qing Dynasty, banquets were given on New Year’s Eve and the Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao Festival,the 15th day of...
Patterned Footpaths On a stroll through a Chinese garden or park, the visitor often finds himself walking on footpaths of colored pebbles arranged in patterns-- a feature of Chinese landscape gardening. These patterned paths are not designed by architects, but made by artisans from beginning to end. The paving of pebbles...
The Imperial Garden was built in 1417 in the Ming Dynasty. It is rectangular in shape with 130 meters from east to west and more than 90 meters from north to south. Its total area covers over 7,000 square meters, containing more than 20 different styles of architecture with...
Before entering the Hall of Mental Cultivation, visitors can see two concentric discs with dragons. It symbolize respectively heaven and earth; but there is no means at present of knowing whether they already had this, or ineed any symbolic meaning in the late Stone Age. The mirror also holds...
A pair of bronze lions (the lion is the king of beasts) symbolizing the imperial power guards the gate. In ancient times, lions were supposed to be good doorkeepers and put at the gate to ward off (exorcize) evil spirits. Lions are frequently seen in front of buildings as...
Taihe means having good social order and without war free from worry. This is the throne hall, also known as “Hall of the Golden Throne,” (a popular name for the emperor's audience hall, e. g. the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Imperial Palace). First built in 1420, it was...
Gate of Heavenly Purity This is the gateway leading to the inner court. It was erected in 1429 and rebuilt in 1655. The Qing emperors sometimes gave an audience to the government officials here. On the east were study rooms for the emperor's children. On the west were offices for guards...
Hall of Union and Peace was built in the Ming Dynasty. In this building the Qing emperors conferred honorable titles on their empresses. The empresses also held their birthday celebrations here. Since the reign of the Qing Qianlong emperor, 25 jade seals representing imperial authority have been kept in...
Office of the Privy Council used to be the Office of the Privy Council, set up during the reign of Yongzheng (1723-35), the third Qing emperor. The Office of the Privy Council assisted the emperor in dealing with routine military and political afairs. Although this place does not attract...

Meridian Gate

Meridian Gate is the main gate of the Purple Forbidden City. It is 37.95 meters high. The gate was the most forbidden portal in the palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The purple color was symbolically attributed to the North Star, and it was used here to show that...

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