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The Palace Museum

Updated:2008-06-06 10:27 | Source:

  Panorama: Palace Museum,the Forbidden City

  Built from 1406-1420 during the Ming Dynasty, the

  Imperial Palace, popularly known as the Forbidden

  City, was the permanent residence of the emperors of

  the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911). It covers

  over 720,000 square meters of floor space, with more

  than 8,700 rooms, surrounded by city wall as high as

  ten meters and a city moat as wide as 52 meters. It

  can be divided into the front and the back parts.

  The front part or the Outer Court where emperors

  held important ceremonies consists of the three

  great halls of Tai He Dian, Zhong He Dian and Bao He

  Dian, which form the main body, and Wen Hua Dian and

  Wu Ying Dian, which are arrayed like wings on the

  sides. The back part or the Inner Court, where

  emperors handled routine state affairs and lived

  with their wives and concubines, consists of Qian

  Qing Gong, Jiao Tai Dian, Kun Ning Gong, Yang Xin

  Dian as well as six east and west palaces and the

  imperial garden--Yu Hua Yuan.

  The Imperial Palace is the largest and most complete

  ancient imperial complex so well preserved in China.

  It embodies collectively ancient Chinese traditions

  and architectural art. In 1961, it was proclaimed an

  important cultural site under state protection, and

  was listed as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in


  A total of 24 emperors lived here since the third

  emperor of the Ming Dynasty(Emperor Yongle Zhudi),

  14 of the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) and 10 of the Qing

  Dynasty(1644-1911). For a short time at the end of

  the Ming Dynasty, the Imperial Palace was occupied

  by peasant rebels led by Li Zichen. It ended its

  historical mission as the imperial palace after the

  revolution of 1911 when the Qing Dynasty--the last

  dynasty in China--was overthrown. The front part or

  the Outer Court of the Imperial Palace was opened to

  the public as the Museum of Antiquities in 1914, and

  the Palace Museum was established in 1925.

  Since the founding of the People's Republic of China

  in 1949, extensive renovation has been carried out

  on the Imperial Palace structures and much attention

  paid to the arrangement, restoration, and exhibition

  of precious cultural relics. Some halls and palaces

  have been opened to the public in their original

  state with their former ornamentation and daily-use

  utensils on display; others exhibit special art

  treasures, such as jewelry, ancient paintings,

  bronzes, ceramics, handicrafts, clocks and watches,

  presenting the age-old and splendid historical

  civilization of China.


Editor : Zhu Jia

Opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics