What is the forbidden city?

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Feb 10, 2018


The Imperial recidence of China's rulers.


It was towards the beginning of the XVth century that the Ming Emperors decided the construction of a city within the city of Beijing.
The initial plan included the Imperial Mansion and a few ancillary buildings. Eventually the city, capable of hosting most of the Chinese government and bureaucracy, extended over nearly one km square of homes, temples and palaces.

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It was eventually walled against any uninvited visitor and the gates were closed at night after all male workers and servants had exited the precinct. The Emperor was left alone with his wives and harem protected by eunuchs.

The Forbidden City is an appalling site. Each building is today a museum full of artefacts from all parts of China donated to the Emperor by his subjects as well as by foreign diplomats.
The Imperial archives are also kept within the city. Some are visible to the visitor and they are a splendid work of drawing, calligraphy and design.
Workers continually attend to the restauration of the structures using ancient tools and ancient materials.

If you ever go to China, do not miss it. The visit is a memorable experience.

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