The Forbidden City is the palatial heart of China. Constructed in 1420, during the early Ming Dynasty, it is China’s best-preserved imperial palace, and the largest ancient palatial structure in the world.
In ancient times, the emperor was said to be a son of Heaven, and therefore Heaven’s supreme power was bestowed upon him. The emperors’ residence was built leading north, as an earthly foil to the heavenly Purple Palace, i.e. the North Star, though to be home to the Celestial Emperor.
Considered a divine place, it was certainly forbidden to ordinary people and that is why the Forbidden City is so named.
The Forbidden City took 14 years to build (from 1406 to 1420). It was built by over 1,000,000 workers, including more than 100,000 craftsmen.
As one of the five most important palaces in the world, the grand halls and walls proudly display the essence and culmination of traditional Chinese architecture, fitting for the capital city of the world’s largest nation.