The magnificent Imperial Palace in Shenyang has the distinction of being China’s sole remaining royal palace outside of Beijing’s Forbidden City. The principal structure of the palatial compound was constructed in 1625 during the reign of Nurhachi, and the complex was completed by his son Abahai in 1636. Both of these rulers were Qing Dynasty founding emperors.
The Shenyang Imperial Palace features more than 300 rooms which surround no less than 20 courtyards. The compound extends over 60,000 square metres and can be subdivided into three main sections; the eastern, middle and western sections, each featuring distinctive characteristics.
The middle section contains the Qingning Palace, the Phoenix Tower and the Chong Zheng Dian arranged in a central axis. Chong Zheng Dian is considered to be the most important edifice in the compound being the location where Abahai held his court. Meanwhile the Phoenix Tower was at one time the tallest structure in the entire city. The Qingning Palace functioned as the bedchamber for Emperor Abahai and his harem.
Equally distinctive is the eastern section of the complex where you will find attractions like the imposing Hall of Great Affairs where emperors ascended to the throne, welcomed successful generals and issued imperial edicts. You will also see the Ten Kings Pavilion, a group of attractive pavilions where in former times emperors and officials handled national affairs.
The complex’s western section was built by decree of Emperor Qianlong with its principal structure being the Wen Su Pavilion. Facing it you will see the Jiayin Hall and the Opera Stage, and to its rear the Yang Xi Room.
The palace compound depicts a unique architectural style. The buildings demonstrate a blend of Manchu, Han and Mongolian cultural themes, all of which are considered to have evolved from the shape of a tent in nomadic times.
Today the Imperial Palace in Shenyang displays numerous relics of cultural interest including Abahai’s broadsword and Nurhachi’s sword. You will also see an array of artworks such as calligraphy, paintings, sculpture, pottery and lacquer ware.
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