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Forbidden City Pictures

Lying at the center of Beijing, the Forbidden City, called gugong, in Chinese, used to be the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is called the Palace Museum now. It lies 1 kilometer north of the Tian'anmen Square, with its south gate, the Gate of Devine Might (Shenwumen), facing the Jingshan Park. 960 meters long and 750 meters wide, the world largest palace complex covers a floor space of 720,000 square meters, having 9,999 buildings.

Generally, it was divided into two parts, the northern half, or the Outer Court where emperors executed their supreme power over the nation and the southern half, or the Inner Court where they lived with their royal family. Until 1924 when the last emperor in China was driven out of the Inner Court, 14 emperors of the Ming dynasty and 10 emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. About 500 years being the imperial palace, it houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. It is now listed by the UN as World Cultural Heritage in 1987.

Taihemen Gate and the Inner Golden Water Bridges

The Forbidden City

Another view of the Forbidden City

The Yangxin Hall

The Chuxiu Palace

The stone slab carved with clouds and dragons at the back of Baohedian

The Hall of Celestial Purity

A watchtower

The gilded bronze lion in front of Qianqing Gate

The bronze crane in front of Taihe Hall

The passage inside Yingrui Gate

The Nine-Dragon Screen in front of Huangji Gate

A part of the Imperial Garden (Yuhuayuan)

The imperial throne inside Taihedian

The Changyin Hall

The pictures are from: http://cssa.mit.edu/worldheritage/h_gg.htm