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The Hall of Central Harmony is one of the three halls that form a part of the Outer Court of the Forbidden City. Although the hall was originally constructed in 1420, repeated damage by fire meant that it had to be rebuilt several times. The existing hall dates back to 1627, and is a beautiful example of ancient, imperial architecture. The square hall is centered around a throne, flanked by two majestic dragons and incense bowls that were used to warm the space. The Hall of Central Harmony was the exclusive domain of the emperor and it is where he would retire to rest and prepare for various ceremonies. The hall remains beautifully preserved and is a part of the Palace Museum.
Enclosed within a grand stone courtyard, the Hall of Supreme Harmony, also known as Taihe Dian, is the largest wooden hall in the Forbidden City and also the whole of China. Mounted on a three-storied terrace with a height of 6 meters (20 feet), it is adorned with carved balustrades. Among the most notable features of the hall is the roof of double eaves, and the gold imperial Dragon Throne which has dragons coiled around it. This magnificent hall is a sight you must visit when in the imperial palace, just to view the magnificent ceiling and throne.
Helping to ease the flow of visitors to the Forbidden City, the Meridian Gate acts as its primary entrance. Visitors travel from the south to north as the explore this vast complex. This particular gate features five distinct arches and is the largest structure in the entire complex towering 37 meters (125 feet) into the air. Historically, the gate offered five different doors, one for the emperor, three for the top scholars of the era and one for ministers and officials. The gate and entire complex was believed to be built along the Meridian, because the emperor's believed themselves to be the sons of the universe and therefore should live at the center of it.
Built during the Ming Dynasty when Emperor Jiajing was in power, the Hall of Mental Cultivation or Yangxindian was a very prominent structure of its time. Set inside the western side of the Inner Court of the Forbidden City, it was the residence of eight Qing emperors, though it was initially used as the emperor's temporary resting chamber. This luxurious building features a main hall, rear hall and many side rooms. The main hall was the ruler's office while the east hall was is where the empresses handled the state affairs. The West Warmth Chamber features a conference room, the Hall of Three Rare Treasures (San Xi Tang), a Buddhist prayer room and several private rooms. The Hall of Mental Cultivation was later used as imperial workshop for the Kangxi regime.
Also known as the Qianqing Palace, The Palace of Heavenly Purity is one of the majestic structures found in the world-renowned Forbidden City of China, and served as the hall where the emperor held court during the Qing dynasty. Worth noting while strolling through these impressive hallways are the throne where the emperor sat, the table hanging above the throne which contains writing by the Sunzhi Emperor and the coiled dragons which are sculpted on the ends of the roof.
The Palace Museum, which is now the largest museum in China, was once the home of 24 different emperors. It is located in the center of Beijing and the Forbidden city. With 70 halls and 9,000 rooms, it is hard to imagine being able to see all of the museum's treasures in one trip. This incredible establishment offers up a journey through China's history and is a must-see during your stay in Beijing. Check out the museum's website for an extensive virtual tour of their pieces, which range from calligraphy to furniture; doing so may help you to determine which parts of this huge museum you would most like to spend your time in during your visit.
A national symbol and historical monument, the Tiananmen Gate is the central heartbeat of the bustling capital, Beijing. Meaning the 'Gate of Heavenly Peace', the Tiananmen Gate was first erected in during the reign of the Ming Dynasty in 1420. Serving as the gateway to the Forbidden City, the gate features two regal lion statues meant to ward off evil spirits. Grand ceremonies, rituals and political speeches have taken place here over the centuries and thus it serves as an integral part of the nation.
The Working People's Cultural Palace is one of the first-class public parks in Beijing. It was once an ancestral temple for emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It covers a total area of 197,000 square meters (2,120,490.35 square feet) and is encircled by three layers of red wall. In the courtyard lie several ancient cypresses, there are also the seven white marble bridges called Jade-studded Belt Bridges which is placed behind the Liuili Gate. The three large halls behind the Halberd Gate are the major part of the complex. The first one is called the Hall of Worshiping Ancestors; the second, Bedroom Hall; and the third, Tiaomiao Temple. A lot of activities like exhibitions painting lessons, dancing lessons are conducted here.