The Forbidden City (Imperial Palace) in the heart of Beijing is the largest and most complete imperial palace and ancient building complex in China, and the world at large. Its construction began in 1406 and was completed 14 years later, having a history so far of some 580 years. Twenty-four emperors from the Ming and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties lived and ruled China from there. Most of the buildings in the Forbidden City were rebuilt many times, although they maintained the original architectural style.
The Forbidden City, extending 753 meters from east to west, and 961 meters from north to south, makes a rectangular shape and covers a total area of 720,000 square meters. It consists of several dozen compounds of varying sizes and some 9,900 bays of rooms, with a total floor area of 150,000 square meters. Most of the buildings were built with wood, roofed with yellow glazed tiles and built on blue-and-white stone foundations, looking solemn and brilliant. City walls were 10 meters high, and a 52 meter-wide moat surround the Forbidden City. Three-storied towers are placed at each corner of the wall.
The building arrangement within the Forbidden City is symmetrical. The Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony and the Hall of Preserving Harmony, which comprise the outer palace, and the Hall of Heavenly Purity, the Hall of Union and the Hall of Earthly Tranquility, comprising the inner palace, stand in a line from south to north on the central axis. The 8 km central axis
The buildings of the Forbidden City fully embody the artistic features and style of ancient Chinese palace architecture, and can be called a masterpiece in Chin
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故宫又称“紫禁城”，是明清两代的皇宫，也是世界上最大的宫殿，占地72万平方 米（长 960米，宽750米），建筑面积15万平方米，始建于公元1406，1420年建成，是明朝第皇帝朱棣始建，设计者蒯祥（1397—1481年，字廷瑞，苏州人），占地面积78万平方米，用30万民工，共建了14年，有房屋9999间半