The things not all everyone knows about the Forbidden City

The things not all everyone knows about the Forbidden City
During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Forbidden City was always a symbol of power, which hid the Chinese cultural "treasures".

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For more than 500 years, the Forbidden City has been a mystery to the common people because not everyone is allowed in and out. Today, the ancient palace attracts about 20,000 visitors every day.
The things not all everyone knows about the Forbidden City
The Forbidden City - the largest wooden palace complex in the world. Photo: Ifly.

Marble slabs weigh hundreds of tons

How the Chinese from ancient times have been able to build an entire this giant complex remains a mystery to humanity for a long time. The unique architecture of the palace complex is also located in elaborate dragon carvings on huge marble slabs. The largest slab has a length of 16.8 m and a width of 3 m in front of the Pacific Palace.

The things not all everyone knows about the Forbidden City
Marble slab is intricately carved in front of the Pacific Palace. Photo: IFLY
Recently, scientists concluded that this hundred-ton slab could be transported in an ice way. Engineers dug hundreds of small wells along the way, and when it was winter, flooded the road and the low temperatures caused the water to become a layer of ice on the ground. By the way, only about 50 workers were able to transport this huge slab.

The meaning of yellow and red

Color plays an important role in the Forbidden City. Yellow stands for supreme power, reserved for the monarch. In fact, everything the king touches or wears on his body is yellow: from clothes, bedding, floor tiles to chopsticks every day. Even the roof tiles in the Forbidden City have also glazed tiles with a layer of yellow enamel to show the emperor's majesty.
The things not all everyone knows about the Forbidden City
The royal golden roof tiles and red walls are the hallmarks of the imperial palace architecture of the Forbidden City. Photo: IFLY
The red in Chinese culture has the meaning of proliferation and the color of luck, so all the palaces and walls are red. However, this color also symbolizes fire. That's why the roof of the library is the only place in the Forbidden City that is black instead of gold. Black stands for water and therefore extinguishes the flame in case of a fire.

Feng shui

One of the important factors to determine the location of the Forbidden City is feng shui. It is an influential doctrine in Chinese culture that studies the effects of nature on human destiny and happiness. Another important element of feng shui is symmetry. Therefore, the layout of the Forbidden City is mostly symmetrical. The most important palaces are located on the north-south axis in the center and the other palaces are arranged symmetrically on both sides.

Number 9

The things not all everyone knows about the Forbidden City
The decorative dragon image on the roof of the palace is associated with the legend of "Dragon brings the best of the Chinese". Photo: IFLY
It is not difficult to encounter the existence of the number 9 in the Forbidden City, this is also the number occupying an important position in the concept of Chinese arithmetic. The number 9 represents the anode and the emperor. To be able to reach the king, you have to go through 9 gates.

The Forbidden City also has 9,999 rooms, less than 1 room compared to 10,000 rooms on the heaven palace -  where the Jade Emperor governs in the legend. On the roof of the Royal Palace is decorated with 9 dragon-like sacred beasts, on the Great Gate (the main door), there are often mounted 81 nail buttons in which 9 verticals and 9 horizontals.

The last secret

Although the Forbidden City has been open to tourists for a long time, one place remains a complete mystery to many. When the last emperor of the Qing Ai Xin Giac La Pho Nghi was expelled from the Forbidden City in 1924, the most mysterious "treasure" of this place - the garden of Qianlong - was sealed. But in the next few years, this secret garden will be released to the public.

The garden was built for the king to rest. Qianlong decreed that no one was allowed to change the status quo of the garden even when he died. As a result, 18th-century bamboo furnishings, silk paintings, jade inlaid ornaments, and glass are preserved in an intact state. The restoration started in 2008 and the garden will open again in 2020.

Brief information:

In 1402, Minh Thành To Chu De ascended the throne and decided to move the capital from Nanjing to Beijing. Here, Minh Thanh To directly directed the construction of the Forbidden City. Millions of workers have worked over the course of 14 years to complete this complex and costly project.

In 1421, the emperor moved into the palace complex and Beijing became the new capital. From here, the Forbidden City was ruled by 24 kings (between the Ming Dynasty and the late Qing Dynasty) respectively. In 1912, the last emperor of China abdicated.

The things not all everyone knows about the Forbidden City The things not all everyone knows about the Forbidden City Reviewed by Duy Khiêm on October 05, 2019 Rating: 5

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