The Forbidden City is the palatial royal building complexes of China. Constructed in 1420, during the early Ming Dynasty, it is China's best-preserved imperial palace, and the largest ancient royal palace in the world.
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.
The Forbidden City is the largest imperial palace in the world, now, we can still see
the imperial living and governing quarters, valuable artworks, and traditional gardens. It t took 14 years to complete the whole project from from 1406 to 1420, more than 1,000,000 workers involved in the construction work, including more than 100,000 craftsmen.The Forbidden City was used as the royal palace of China for 492 years from 1420–1912, druing which 24 emperors (14 of the Ming dynasty and 10 of the Qing dynasty) lived and governed here.
The Forbidden City covers 0.72 sq km (0.28 sq mi), 980 buildings were in the city and over 70 palace compounds, total rooms come to 8,700. It is 961 meters long from south to north and 753 meters wide, surrounded by a 10-meter-high wall, which is 3.4 km (2 miles) long, and a 52-meter wide moat round the Forbidden City wall.
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. Originally it was called 'Purple Forbidden City' (Zijincheng in Chinese). Now, it is usually called the 'Former Palace' ( Gu Gong).
The construction of the grand palace started in the fourth year of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1406), and ended in 1420. From 1420 to 1644, the Forbidden City was the home of 14 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. From October 1644, the Forbidden City served as the imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty.
In 1860, during the Second Opium War, the Forbidden City was controlled by Anglo-French forces and occupied until the end of the war. From 1912 when the democracy revolution happened, the Forbidden City was no longer home to the the last Emperor of China, Puyi. In 1925, the Forbidden City became the Palace Museum. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.