The Forbidden City was designed and constructed in the style of traditional Chinese palace architecture, with a focus on articulation and bilateral symmetry to represent equilibrium. Classical Chinese architecture, particularly those of the rich, often stress width rather than height. This allows for large halls that can house ceremonies as well as palaces. The Forbidden City was built over a period of almost 150 years, from 1406 until its completion in 1644. It was the home of several generations of the imperial family, but also served as a museum after it was abandoned by the emperor.
It is said that Emperor Shizuoka ordered the construction of the city to celebrate his retirement after fifty-five years on the throne. However, this explanation isn't very convincing since there were already many cities across China that followed this style of building. More likely, the decision to build the city was made to demonstrate the prosperity of the empire after many years of war. The fact that it was never used as a residence shows that the emperor didn't want to be tied down by permanent residency.
The Forbidden City was built using local labor forces because no outside architects or engineers were allowed inside the walls. They did, however, hire many foreign workers through contracts to avoid conflict with other countries.
The name "Forbidden City" comes from the fact that during the early years of its existence, it was not open to visitors.
The beams and columns of the Forbidden City are built of wood, as are the walls that divide the hallways into distinct chambers. Wood was traditionally the preferred construction material in traditional Chinese architecture. The Forbidden City is the biggest collection of well-preserved medieval wooden buildings in the world. It was built between 1406 and 1420 for the early Ming emperor Tian Hou (Ming Huang), who lived through almost every major event of his country's history: the fall of the Yuan dynasty, the invasion of Japan, the outbreak of the Black Death, etc.
Although the Forbidden City is often referred to as a "city", it was more like a large imperial palace or even a small European royal court with its own government officials. It was not considered safe to live there permanently. Instead, people went about their business within the walls while waiting for important matters to be resolved. There were no streets inside the city wall, only open spaces known as "Li" where trading took place by day and entertainment by night.
Inside the city wall were over 100,000 square meters of land, which included gardens, forests, and farmlands. Here you would find all the necessities of life including food, cloth, medicine, and transportation. At any given time, there were probably only around 20,000 people living inside the city walls; the rest of China stayed safely outside our gates enjoying the peace and prosperity within.
The Forbidden City (Chinese: Zi Jin Cheng; pinyin: Zijincheng) is a palace complex in Beijing, China, located in Dongcheng District, at the heart of the Imperial City of Beijing. It was here that Chinese emperors lived and held court for more than 500 years. The last emperor to live in the Palace was Puyi, who surrendered to the Japanese army after World War II.
The Forbidden City is a large complex with an area of about. It is protected as a major historical site by China's government. The name "Forbidden City" is used because it was originally enclosed within a high wall, the "forbidden zone". This term still applies to its present day boundaries in terms of access by the public.
The Forbidden City is best known for its enormous size, intricate design, and extensive collection of artwork and treasures. It also has many halls and rooms for state ceremonies and rituals.
The original layout of the Forbidden City is not known with certainty since it has been greatly altered over time by various renovations and rebuildings. It is believed that some parts of the complex were built as early as 1403 but most likely was not completed until 1557.
All of the key gates and halls of the Forbidden City were situated symmetrically on the north-south central axis of ancient Beijing to symbolise the emperor's great authority, bestowed by Heaven, and the area where he lived being the center of the universe. The central axis passed through the palace walls at various points, including in front of the Altar of Heaven and Earth, so it could be said that the city was designed around it.
The northern gate is where visitors enter the Forbidden City today. It is a huge structure with three sections: an outer wall with 36 guard towers, an inner wall with 24 guard towers, and a middle section consisting only of a royal courtyard with an octagonal pavilion in its center. The southern gate was probably not much different from the northern one in size or design, but it was never used as a public entrance; instead, it served as the main exit route for prisoners going to their executions. There were also eastern and western gates, but they are no longer standing.
Inside the walls, the layout of the imperial apartments was identical in every hall except for the one in which they lived. The central axis ran down the length of each hall, dividing it into two parts: one for men and one for women. The emperors' private rooms were on the upper floor, while their audience chambers were on the lower floor.