Welcoming a whopping 16 million visitors annually, the Forbidden City is a one-of-a-kind UNESCO World Heritage Site in China’s capital city. Here are some interesting facts on the historic hotspot.
A Royal Entrance
Although mere mortals were not allowed to enter the Forbidden City in centuries past, travellers based at Ascott Riverside Garden Beijing and other similar Beijing serviced apartments can enter the premises through the Meridian Gate. This was a special entrance reserved for the use of the emperor back in the day when bells would ring to denote the monarch’s movements. The Meridian Gate is also the location from which the emperor used to review his armed forces before the battle.
First Side Galleries
As one of the first sections of the Forbidden City visitors will come across, the Hall of Martial Valour is found in this area. Although the venue now showcases exhibits, it was once the location where the emperor met with his ministers. The Southern Storehouses and the Furniture Gallery are also part of this section, which also contains the Hall of Literary Brilliance, the home of the crown prince.
The Great Halls
Also known as the Three Great Halls, these mammoth structures are raised on a marble terrace that is divided into three tiers. The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the biggest building in all of the Forbidden City while the Dragon Throne is found within its confines.
The Imperial Garden
Located on the northern edge of the Forbidden City, the Imperial Garden is an impressive Chinese garden that occupies 7000 square metres.
The Treasure Gallery
Home to the Palace of Tranquil Longevity, the Treasure Gallery contains the “crown jewels” of the Chinese imperial collection.