Once the abode of 24 Ming and Qing emperors of the Celestial Empire, the Forbidden City is a fittingly awe-inspiring sight. Enclosed behind its moat and 9.9m-high walls are 980 buildings, vast courtyards and long corridors that occupy a total area of 720,000 square meters.
It’s alleged that as many as 1,000,000 workers and 100,000 artisans participated in the construction of this imperial palace, which began in 1406 and was completed in 1420 during the reign of Ming dynasty emperor Yongle. Destroyed by fires and other calamities, many of the buildings were rebuilt and expanded during the Qing dynasty.
The Forbidden City is divided into two parts based on its layout and function. The Outer Court is the front part. The Inner Court is the back part. They are separated by Qianqingmen (the Gate of Celestial Purity).