View from Tian An Men or Gate of Heavenly Peace square. Although Mao's potrait hangs here, we were told by our guide that he never stepped inside the Forbidden Palace.It seems that Mao was a strong believer of Feng Shui. He was born of the water element while the Palace was build on a spot that was of an earth element. Earth it is believed, will overcome the water sign.It was here that he announced the estabishment of the People's Republic Of China
The Chinese called it Zijingcheng which literally mens Purple Forbidden City due to the colour of the walls.At 180 acres it is the world's largest palace
The outer courts are where ceremonies are held
The forbidden palace consists of the inner court like this where the emperor and his family lives and the outer courts where ceremonies are held.One quarter of the space is set aside to house the women. There are 9,999 rooms in the forbidden palace.The 10,000th room is reserved for heaven
It is home to 24 emperors
Water is placed in vats like this to fight fires.In winter a fire is kept going underneath to prevent the water from freezing
Seat of supreme power for over five centuries (1416-1911), the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its landscaped gardens and many buildings (whose nearly 10,000 rooms contain furniture and works of art), constitutes a priceless testimony to Chinese civilization during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty in Shenyang consists of 114 buildings constructed between 1625–26 and 1783. It contains an important library and testifies to the foundation of the last dynasty that ruled China, before it expanded its power to the centre of the country and moved the capital to Beijing. This palace then became auxiliary to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. This remarkable architectural edifice offers important historical testimony to the history of the Qing Dynasty and to the cultural traditions of the Manchu and other tribes in the north of China.