The Online Library of Knowledge


Forbidden City

 A watchtower in the Forbidden City A watchtower in the Forbidden City The Forbidden City lies in the centre of Beijing, the capital of China. It was the home of the emperors of China and was known as the Forbidden City because ordinary people were not permitted to enter its walls. Building work started on this vast palace in 1404, on the orders of the Ming emperor Yong Le. Within its walls were the palace buildings where the emperors lived until 1912. The last emperor, Puyi, a boy of six, abdicated but lived on in the palace until 1924.

Inside the palace

An aerial view of the Forbidden CityAn aerial view of the Forbidden CityThe emperor's throneThe emperor's throneThe Forbidden City was the home of the emperor, his family and his servants. The emperor would stand at the Meridian Gate, flanked by elephants, and inspect his armies. Across the canal is another gate opening into a huge courtyard with the main palace buildings beyond it. The greatest is the Hall of Supreme Harmony, set on a marble platform. No other building in Beijing was allowed to be higher. This is where the emperor sat on his golden throne.

The Forbidden City is so-called because no one could enter or leave without the emperor’s permission.

© 2020 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile