Posted by Travel Inspirations | Posted on 20-09-2011 | comments: 0| Posted in
One of the greatest Chinese wonders and the most visited tourist attractions, the Forbidden city is a clear sign of continuous imperial might and splendour. The huge palace complex served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government for almost 500 years.
The historians today call China the oldest continuous civilisation in the world. The size and the scale of the Forbidden City leave no doubt about it – the complex consists of 980 buildings with 8,707 bays of rooms and covers 720,000 m2 (7,800,000 sq ft). The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
The site of the Forbidden City was situated on the Imperial City during the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. Upon the establishment of the Ming Dynasty, the Hongwu Emperor moved the capital from Beijing in the north to Nanjing in the south, and ordered that the Yuan palaces be burnt down. When his son Zhu Di became the Yongle Emperor, he moved the capital back to Beijing, and construction began in 1406 of what would become the Forbidden City.
Construction lasted 15 years, and required more than a million workers. Material used include logs of precious wood found in the jungles of south-western China, and large blocks of marble from quarries near Beijing. The floors of major halls were paved with “golden bricks”, specially baked paving bricks from Suzhou.
The collections of the Palace Museum are based on the Qing imperial collection. According to the results of a 1925 audit, some 1.17 million items were stored in the Forbidden City, including ceramic, paintings, bronzeware, timepieces, jade and many other artefacts. In addition, the imperial libraries housed one of the country’s largest collections of ancient books and various documents, including government documents of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
A country with its citizens living in prosperity, China is a place of world wonders, law and order, and several conveniences like cheap international call services.