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Imperial Architecture

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Fengxiandian (Hall for Ancestral Worship)
Fengxiandian (Hall for Ancestral Worship) was built in 1656 during the Qing Dynasty. It has a front hall and a rear hall, which are connected, by a lobby. Its main function was to offer sacrifices to imperial ancestors. Grand sacrifices ceremonies would be held in its front hall on important occasions. On the days of their ancestors' birth, death and traditional festivals, ceremonies would be held in the rear hall.
Gate of Divine Prowess - Shenwumen in Chinese
Gate of Divine prowess (Shenwumen) is the north gate of the Forbidden City. On its tower were bells struck in the morning and drums beaten in the evening in the old days to mark time. The empress and imperial concubines left the palace through this gate to attend the ceremony of starting silkworm-breeding season.
Gate of Heavenly Purity - Qianqingmen of Forbidden City
Gate of Heavenly Purity, also called Qianqingmen (Gate of Celestial Purity) is the main entrance to the inner court. In front of the gate, there is a square which runs 200 meters long from east to west and extends only 30 meters from north to south. The square separates the Outer Court and the Inner Court and integrates them.
Gate of Supreme Harmony - Taihemen of Forbidden City
Behind Wumen (the Meridian Gate), one can see five bridges and the courtyard beyond. Further north in the center, it is Taihemen, the Gate of Supreme Harmony.
Hall of Complete Harmony - Zhonghedian
Zhonghedian, the Hall of Central Harmony, also called Zhonghedian, was originally built in 1420 and restored in 1627 and again 1765.
Hall of Mental Cultivation - Yangxindian of Forbiddden City
Yangxindian (Hall of Mental Cultivation) was built in the Ming Dynasty and rebuilt in the Qing Dynasty.
Hall of Preserving Harmony -- Baohedian of Forbidden City
Architecturally, this hall has no supporting pillars in its front part, something typical of Ming architecture. Baohedian, the Hall of Preserving Harmony, sits on the northern end of the three-tiered marble terrace, similar in style but a bit smaller than the Hall of Supreme Harmony and larger than the Hall of Central Harmony. It was first built in 1420, rebuilt in 1625 and renovated in 1765.
Hall of Supreme Harmony - Taihedian
Entering Taihemen, you will see Taihedian (Hall of Supreme Harmony) across the spacious square, which covers a space of 30,000 square meters. Sitting on a three-tier marble terrace, the grandest timber framework ever in China will overwhelm anyone.
Inner Golden Water River and Bridge of Forbidden City
Behind Wumen, the Meridian Gate, one can see five bridges with a courtyard named the Inner Golden Water River Bridges.
Leshoutang (Hall of Happiness and Longevity)
The hall was Emperor Qianlong's study after his abdication. It is spacious and has lobbies around. In 1894, Emperor Dowager Cixi, pretending to return power to Emperor Guangxu, lived here also and slept in the west warmth chamber. Her 60th birthday celebration was also held here.
Nine-dragon Screen - Jiulongbi
At the entrance to the outer Eastern palaces, there is a Nine-dragon Screen, erected in 1773 during the reign of Emperor Qianlong as a decoration. In china, there are altogether three Nine-dragon Screens. The biggest one is in Beihai Park, and a third one is in Datong, shanxi province.
Ningshougong (Palace of Peaceful Longevity)
Ningshougong (Palace of Peaceful Longevity), a group of structures, were first built in 1689, and named. When rebuilt in 1772, the name was replaced with Huangjidian (Hall of Imperial Supremacy). However, the rear hall was still named Ningshougong (Palace of Peaceful Longevity). The structures here were shrunken Forbidden City since it was rebuilt for Emperor's abdication.
Palace of Earthly Tranquility - Kunninggong of Forbidden City
Kunninggong (Palace of Earthly Tranquility) was first built in 1420 and restored in 1655. It was the only Manchurian architecture in the Forbidden City and residence palace of the empress during the Ming and the Qing dynasties.
Palace of Heavenly Purity - Qianqinggong of Forbidden City
Inside Qianqingmen (Gate of Celestial Palace), you will see Qianqinggong. Palace of Heavenly Purity, also called Qianqinggong (the Palace of Celestial Purity), is the first building in front of you when you enter the inner court of Forbidden City.
Palace of Union and Peace - Jiaotaidian of Forbidden City
Palace of Union and Peace, also called Jiaotaidian in Chinese, was the place that the empresses held important ceremonies or celebrations, such as the conferment of honorable titles and birthday celebrations.
Six Eastern and Western Palaces and Outer Eastern Palaces
The six eastern palaces and six western palaces, located on the east and west sides of the three rear palaces respectively, was the residences of imperial concubines.
The Forbidden City or Forbidden Palace
Lying at the center of Beijing, the Forbidden City, called Gu Gong in Chinese, used to be the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). It is called the Palace Museum now. It lies 1 kilometer north of the Tian'anmen Square, with its south gate, the Gate of Devine Might (Shenwumen), facing the Jingshan Park.
The Imperial Gardens -- Yuhuayuan (in Chinese)
Outside of the Gate of Earthly Tranquility is Yuhuayuan (the Imperial Garden), which was built in 1417 in the Ming Dynasty. The imperial Garden is 90 meters (98.5 yards) long from north to south and 130 meters (142 yards) wide from east to west. The rectangular garden covers an area of about 11,700 square meters and was the private garden of the imperial family. It was the most typical imperial garden in China. There are about 20 structures of different styles. One will be astonished that structures can keep harmony with trees, rockeries, flowerbeds and bronze incense burners in such a small space.
Wumen - Meridian Gate of Forbidden City
Wumen in Chinese, is the southern entrance of the Forbidden City. It is also called Meridian Gate because the emperor believed that they were sons of Heaven, and his residence was the center of universe and that the meridian line went right though the city.
Yunlongshidiao - Marble Ramp Carved with Cloud and Dragon Design
Behind the Hall of Preserving Harmony, in the middle of the stairway, is a huge piece of marble carving of nine dragons playing with pearls.
Zhen Fei Well
When the Allied Forces forced their way into Beijing in 1900, the favorite imperial concubine of Emperor Guangxu, Zhen Fei (Concubine Pearl), was ordered to be thrown and drowned in this well by Cixi.

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