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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.
One of Beijing's greatest gems, the Forbidden City is a national treasure. Constructed in 1420, this must-see historical attraction was once the imperial residence for both the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is called the forbidden city because no one was allowed to enter or leave the city without the emperor's permission. The sprawling complex contains over 70 structures with more than 9000 rooms containing priceless artifacts and relics. The palace was turned into a museum during the early 20th Century and offers great insight into China's past. While throngs of visitors come through each day, the royal gardens area is surprisingly calm and quiet. Enter this giant complex through the impressive Tiananmen Gate.
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.
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.
Tiananmen Square is one of the largest public squares in the world. The square is surrounded by a cluster of massive buildings including Tiananmen Gate, The Forbidden City, the Great Hall of the People, The Monument of the People's Heroes and the Mao Ze Dong Mausoleum. The original square was built in 1651, though it has undergone extensive expansion since then. The square has figured in many historical events; Mao Zedong announced the founding of the People's Republic there in 1949, and in 1989 the area was the site of the famous Tiananmen Square Protests, a pro-democracy movement that ended in the deaths of many civilians. Today, visitors can walk through the square and learn more about its turbulent history. Â
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.
Located at the Western edge of Tiananmen Square, The Great Hall of the People functions as China's parliament building and has halls representing each province of China, all decorated according to the local style. It was built in 1959 as part of the Ten Great Constructions honoring the 10th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. The main hall, called The Great Auditorium, can seat 10,000 representatives. Tours of the various halls are given when meetings are not in session but guided tours are only in Chinese. Public tours are only possible when meetings are not in session.