10 Interesting facts of the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City was the abode of the Chinese Emperors, their families, staff and government officials. It was occupied by emperors from Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is one of the most significant symbols of ancient Chinese government. Below are some interesting facts about the city.

1. The city was built from 1406 to 1420 and consists of 980 buildings that cover 720,000 square meters (7,800,000 sq. ft.).

2. The Forbidden City was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1987 and also declared as the world's largest preservation of wooden structures from ancient world.

3. The Forbidden City is home to one of the biggest museums in the world - the Palace Museum - that boasts imperial collection spanning the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

4. Among the materials used to construct the palace include; marbles from the surrounding quarries, logs of precious Phoebe zhennan wood and golden bricks.

5. The Forbidden City was home to home of 24 emperors – 14 of the Ming Dynasty and 10 of the Qing Dynasty.

6. The city ceased to be the seat of political power in 1912 after Puyi, the last Emperor of China, abdicated and allowed the formation of new Republic of China.

7. The Forbidden City is an array of ancient building and artifacts that include; porcelain and jade, gardens, plazas, historic sites, and 9,999 rooms.

8. 90% of the roofs are finished with glazed yellow tiles. Yellow was the official color of Chinese Emperors.

9. Each of the 9,999 rooms is decorated with statues. As the importance of each building grows, the number of statues increases. The most important room has a maximum of 10 statues.

10. About one million artifacts that are housed within the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City are considered Chinese National Heritage items and are thus under the protection of the Chines government.

The Forbidden City is the main attraction to tourists in the Chinese capital - Beijing. It is one of the most visited ancient sites in the world and a tour here will be an eye opener. Very few other museums in the world can claim as much history as the Forbidden City.

By Kennedy Runo on 01/21/2014 in Beijing

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