Forbidden City, Beijing

A truly magical place to visit. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government. The palace complex consists of 980 buildings and exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture. Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The Forbidden City was designed to be the center of the ancient, walled city of Beijing. It is enclosed in a larger, walled area called the Imperial City. The Imperial City is, in turn, enclosed by the Inner City; to its south lays the Outer City. The Forbidden City remains important in the civic scheme of Beijing. The central north-south axis remains the central axis of Beijing. This axis extends to the south through Tiananmen gate to Tiananmen Square, the ceremonial center of the People’s Republic of China, and on to Yongdingmen. To the north, it extends through Jingshan Hill to the Bell and Drum Towers. Beijing has much to offer, but this is by far the greatest place you can visit there.

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