The Forbidden City, lying at the center of Beijing, was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Forbidden City, also know as the Palace Museum, is the largest and the most magnificent and splendid intact palace complex in the world. As one of five world-famous palaces, the Forbidden City shares the honor with the Palace of Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in England, the White House in the U.S. and the Kremlin in Russia. The Forbidden City has a rich cultural background and remains an important symbol for Chinese history, where twenty-four emperors reigned over the country for over 500 years. Declared as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987due to its significant place in the development of Chinese architecture and culture, the Forbidden City, as the "Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties", is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world-wide.
The Forbidden City was built in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the whole construction took fourteen years from 1406 to 1420. Wear comfortable walking shoes as the Forbidden City is 960 metres long and 750 metres wide occupying an area of 720,000 square meters (177.9 acres) and has approximately 8,700 rooms. The central north-south axis remains the central axis of Beijing, with a 2-3 degrees angular misalignment to the northwest of the meridian line of Beijing. The Forbidden City is surrounded by a 7.9 meters high city wall and a 52 meters wide moat, both served as defensive functions for the Forbidden City. The four beautiful turrits at the four corners are the most visible parts of the Forbidden City to passers-by outside the walls.
The Forbidden City is mainly composed of the Outer Court for ceremonial purposes and the Inner Court which are the residence of the Emperor and his family and for day-to-day affairs of state. Fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned China in the Forbidden City, until 1924 when the last emperor, Puyi was driven from the Inner Court. Nowadays, the Forbidden City is open to public and attracting tourists from home and abroad to travel in Beijing. Indeed the Forbidden City, a royal architectural wonders with surprisingly magnificent treasures is one of the best known tourist attractions for visitors to travel in China.
OPEN Tuesday - Sunday
CLOSED Mondays (except for national holidays)
*The Palace Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday all year round and on national holidays that fall on Mondays, except for the eve of the Spring Festival.
*There may be temporary closures which cannot always be scheduled in advance, since they are frequently caused by unforeseen circumstances.