Forbidden City



The Forbidden City, today called Palace Museum, contains the imperial palaces of the Ming and Qing dynasties. 24 emperors, 14 in the Ming and 10 in the Qing dynasties ruled from here. The last dynasty collapsed during the 1911 Revolution, but the last emperor Puyi continued to live in the Inner Palace until 1924, when he was thrown out of the palace by the troops of General Feng Yuxiang. After that, the palace was opened to the public as the Palace Museum and it was no longer forbidden to the common people.
The Forbidden City covers an area of 72 hectares. It is rectangular in shape, 961 meters long form north to south and 753 meters wide from east to west. Itís said there are 9999.5 rooms in the whole complex. Suppose you were bon in one of the rooms and you wanted to stay in a different room every night. You would be 27 years old at the end of your experience.
The large scale construction of the palace extended from 1406 to 1420. It means the Forbidden City was built 70 years before Columbus discovered America, 140 years before the birth of William Shakespeare. It involved approximately 1,000,000 workers including 100,000 artisans. The timber needed for the construction was brought mostly from southwest provinces such as Sichuan, Hunan and Guizhou, while most of the stones were quarried from the district of Fangshan- a suburban area of Beijing.
The Forbidden Palace is surrounded by a 10-metre-high wall, and further encircled by a 52 meter wide, 3,800 meter long moat. On the wall are four gates, each with a tower above them, and on the four corners of the wall stand four watch towers, each with three roofs and 72 roof-ridges.