The Forbidden City

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Forbidden City

The Forbidden City - the imperial palace


The Forbidden City in the center of Beijing, was the Imperial Palace during the Qing Dynasty. The construction of the palace began in 1407 and was completed 14 years later. It is said that a million workers labored on the palace.

Yellow, the symbol of the royal family is the dominant color. The roofs were built with yellow glazed tiles and many decorations in the palace were painted yellow. Paving bricks were made yellow in the construction process.

It was here that the emperors lived in seclusion. In 1860 following the second Opium War, English and French forces took control of the Forbidden City and occupied it until the war was over. In 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion, the Dowager Empress Cixi fled the Forbidden City and it was occupied by the treaty powers for a short time. The Last emperor Pu Yi resided there until he abdicated in 1912. He was allowed to continue to reside there by the Republic of China government until 1924.

Part of The Decline of Imperial China exhibit


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