Forbidden City

By admin - Posted on 28 March 2008

Forbidden City is alleged that as many as 1,000,000 workers and 100,000 artisans participated in the construction of this imperial palace, which began in 1406 and was completed in 1420 during the reign of Ming dynasty emperor Yongle. Destryed by fires and other calamities, many of the buildings were rebuilt and expanded during the Qing dynasty. The last emperor, Puyi, left the Forbidden City, which had long been off-limits to most mortals, was opened to the public, hence its current Chinese name, gugong bowuguan, meaning "The Palace Museum".
Besides its massive scale and historical significance, the Forbidden City strikes the imagination by its design. Its clear lines, perfect proportions, and dramitic lolor scheme of vermilion walls, white marble terraces and staircases and brilliant yellow-tiled roofs - create one of the world's most beautiful architectural complexes. It was built along a meridian line, from Dragon's throne, an axis can be drawn directly south through the many gates, right through to Qianmen and on. From his northern seat, the emperor could symbolically survey his entire kingdom. Taking all this in requires time, at least 3 hours, and a comfortable pair of shoes. The English audio tour is highly insightful and features the suave voice of Roger Moore of James Bond fame. Readers intersted in the Forbidden City's past grandeur should watch the Last Emperor by Bernardo Bertolucci, a film that wa largely shot on location.

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