Home of Chinese Emperors
The Forbidden City located in Beijing, China was home to twenty four Ming and Qing Emperors over the centuries.
The wall surrounding Forbidden City is 26 feet high and 28 meters wide at the base with the top being 21 feet wide. Outside of the walls is a moat approximately 150 feet wide protecting those within.
The main entrance is passing thru the Gate of Supreme Harmony. It is estimated than 1 million laborers worked to complete the 980 buildings and over 8,700 rooms in which around 40% is still not open to the public.
The Hall of Supreme Harmony was used as the ceremonial center. It is the largest surviving wooden structure in China.
The number of roof statues represent the status of the building. A minor building would have three to five while the higher status building has more. The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the highest with ten statuettes and the only building in China with that many.
Foo Dogs also known as Imperial guarding lions are usually found guarding important Palaces, Temples as well as homes of the wealthy in China. The foo dogs are usually in pairs. A male with his paw on an embroidered ball (in imperial context represents supremacy over the world) and a female with her paw on a cub on its back which represents nurture.
You will find many cisterns located through out Forbidden City. These cisterns were used to store water as one of the great fears was fire since most of the buildings are made of wood.
Forbidden City is the most visited place in China with an estimated 15 million plus visitors per year. Some of the areas within you will find hundreds of people, but you can still find areas with less persons. A Unesco World Heritage Site and is definitely a must see when visiting Beijing.