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1 Introduction The Forbidden City, also called the Palace Museum, which was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Forbidden City was built from 1406 to 1420 by the Yongle Emperor who was the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty. The English name of the Forbidden City is a translation of its Chinese name Zijin Cheng, which means that the Forbidden City is the residence of the emperor and his family, and no one could enter or leave the palace without the emperor’s approval.
The Forbidden City is a rectangle 961 metres from north to south and 753 metres from east to west. Besides, it consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,886 bays of rooms. It is obviously the largest palace around the world. As the home of 24 emperors, 12 of the Ming Dynasty, and 10 of the Qing Dynasty, the palace was the political centre of China for more than 500 years, and this is one of the reasons why we interested in this topic. In the following sections, we will introduce the Forbidden City’s three main halls, The Hall of Mental Cultivation, the famous emperors and the stories of the palace, famous music about the Forbidden City, online virtual Forbidden City, and the best time to travel.
2 Descriptions 2-1 The three main halls There are three halls stand on top of a three-tiered white marble terrace of the square of the palace. They contain the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Chinese: 太和殿), the Hall of Central Harmony(Chinese: 中和殿), and the Hall of Preserving Harmony (Chinese: 保和殿). The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the largest and highest level hall of the Forbidden City. Every emperor’s coronation, birthday ceremony, wedding ceremony, and other important ceremonies or political affairs had taken place in this hall.
The Hall of Central Harmony is a smaller and square hall, used by the Emperor to rehearse and rest before and during ceremonies. Behind the Hall of Central Harmony, the Hall of Preserving Harmony, it was used by the emperor to banquet the nobility on every Chinese Eve, or other important festivals. In Qing Dynasty, the emperor had taken the most important imperial examinations, Dian Shi (Chinese: 殿試) in this hall. 2-2 The Hall of Mental Cultivation
The reason why we introduce this hall separately is that the Hall of Mental Cultivation is a particularly significant building of the Forbidden City of Qing Dynasty since 1722. The Hall of Mental Cultivation is well-known for the Yongzheng Emperor, who was the 5th emperor of the Qing Dynasty, and son of the Kangxi Emperor. He ruled the Chinese Empire from 1722 to 1735. During his ruling time, the emperor lived in this hall. After his death, other emperors lived in this hall continually, thus the hall had been the actual dominate centre of the Chinese Empire from 1722 to 1911, the ruin of the Qing Dynasty.