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Forbidden City

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The Forbidden City
The Gate of Divine Might, the northern gate. The lower tablet reads "The Palace Museum" (故宫博物院)
Location4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng, Beijing, China
TypeArt museum, Imperial Palace, Historic site
Visitor figures16.7 million[1]
CuratorWang Xudong
Forbidden City
Area72 hectares[2]
ArchitectKuai Xiang
Architectural style(s)Chinese architecture
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Part ofImperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang
CriteriaCultural: i, ii, iii, iv
Inscription1987 (11th Session)
Forbidden City
Forbidden City (Chinese characters).svg
"Forbidden City" in Chinese characters
Chinese name
Chinese 紫禁城
Literal meaning "Purple [North Star] Forbidden City"
Manchu name

Template-specific style sheet:


The Forbidden City, now known as the Palace Museum, is a large historical palace and an art museum in the historical center of Beijing, China. The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is very important to the history and architecture of China. The Forbidden City was the palace of the Emperor of China from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. For almost 500 years, it was as the home of emperors and their houses, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.


The name "Forbidden City" is a translation of the Chinese name Zijin Cheng (Chinese: 紫禁城; pinyin: Zǐjìnchéng; literally "Purple Forbidden City"). The name Zijin Cheng was used for the first time in 1576.[3] Another English name for Zijin Cheng is "Forbidden Palace".[4] The word Zi means "purple" in Chinese. It means the North Star. This is because in ancient China it was called the Ziwei Star. In Chinese astrology the North Star was the home of the Celestial Emperor. Because the Forbidden City was the home of the emperor on Earth, the Chinese thought that it was Earth's equivalent of the Ziwei Star. Jin means "Forbidden" in Chinese. This was because no one was allowed to go in or out of the palace without the emperor's permission. Cheng means city.[5]

The Chinese don't call the Forbidden Palace Zijin Cheng anymore. They call it Gùgōng (故宫) now. This means the "Former Palace". The museum that is in the Forbidden City is called the "Palace Museum" (Chinese: 故宫博物院; pinyin: Gùgōng Bówùyùan).


After Zhu Di became the Yongle Emperor, the capital of China was moved from Nanjing to Beijing. In 1406 construction began on the Forbidden City.[5] The construction of the palace went on for over 14 years and more than a million workers had to work on building it.[6] (1406-1420)


  1. (in zh-hans =China News Service). 31 December 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2018. 
  2. The Layout of the Imperial Palace. 28 March 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2019. 
  3. Barmé, Geremie R.; Doar, Bruce G. (2008). The Forbidden City. Harvard University Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-0674027794 . 
  4. Gan, Guo-hui (April 1990). "Perspective of urban land use in Beijing". GeoJournal 20 (4): 359–364. doi:10.1007/bf00174975 . 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Yu, Zhuoyun (1984). Palaces of the Forbidden City. New York: Viking. p. 18. ISBN 0-670-53721-7 . 
  6. Yang, Xiagui (2003). The Invisible Palace. Li, Shaobai (photography); Chen, Huang (translation). Beijing: Foreign Language Press. ISBN 7-119-03432-4 . 

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This article is about a World Heritage Site