The illustrious and splendid palace of China, Forbidden City, attracts millions of visitors each year not only for its impressive size and luxuriance but also for the interesting little- known facts.
1. It took 14 years (1406- 1420) to accomplish constructing Forbidden City with 980 buildings and a total area of 720 000 meters square.
2. In 1987, Forbidden City was recognized by UNESCO as World’s Heritage and the world’s largest collection of wooden constructions.
3. Forbidden city is dominantly made of high – end materials such as Suzhou brick, Anhui gem – glazed tile, gem stone and Southern precious wood.
4. There were 24 Emperors including 14 Ming Dynasty’s Emperor and 5 Qing Dynasty’s Emperors living in this place.
5. Yellow is considered the most noble color by the ruling class as according to Five Elements Theory (Wroxing), it is equivalent to Earth which is the root of everything. Therefore, in order to represent incomparable elevation of ancient Chinese court, most of the crystal gem roofs in Forbidden City are yellow.
6. Meanwhile, the palace’s walls are pointed in red which is a representative color of solemnization, fortune and happiness. Moreover, in ancient times, aside from imperial palace, only houses of emperor’s siblings or crucial temples and pagoda are allowed to have red walls.
7. In total, Forbidden City consists of 9999 rooms. It’s also a complex of ancient construction with numerous invaluable exhibits made of precious gem, sapphire, pottery, gold and silver.
8. Each room is decorated with beautifully designed statue. The more important the room is, the more statues it will get. Specifically the most vital room of Forbidden City contains up to 10 statues.
9. Approximately a million of exhibits in Forbidden City’s museum are considered National heritage and under the protection of Chinese Government. Surprisingly the leading architect of Forbidden City is a Vietnamese person named Nguyen An. After defeating Hu Dynasty, Ming Dynasty invaded Dai Viet and Nguyen An was among the vast number of adolescences forded to become the Court’s eunuchs. Thanks to his amazing calculating and constructing ability, his honestly and reliability, Nguyen An gained the Emperor’s trust and was appointed to do the job of an architect, project supervisors and manager.
10. To create an absolute parity, all the guards of Forbidden City must have equal height and body shape.
11. The name Forbidden City is originated from its entrance limited characteristic. Not everyone can be able to go into Forbidden City, especially civilians. If they purposely do otherwise, they will be sentenced to death.
12. There are 9 entrances to the palace‘s seraglio as number 9 is regarded as the representative of the Emperor’s power. All the gates are beautifully luxuriously decorated.
13. There are two lion statues including a male and female lion placed in the main gate of Forbidden City’s seraglio. The male holds a ball under its feet to represent power whereas the female holds a baby lion to represent life.
14. The foundation of Forbidden City is 3 meters high and made of tough flagstone buried deeply under the ground to prevent invasion from underneath.
15. To manifest the supreme power of Tian zi which means son of God, the place where the Emperor lives must be the center. Hence, other buildings and gates of Forbidden City are constructed and arranged to revolve around the center. In particular, the center of Forbidden City is Huang Chang. Huang Chang’s center is Hall of Supreme Harmony. And finally, the center of Hall of Supreme Harmony is the Outer Court – the center of universe. All those layers of construction focus on and highlight the center.
16. Forbidden City’s Museum consists of a huge collection of watches during the 80s – 90s with over 1000 watches produced in China or abroad, this is definitely among the largest and most impressive watch collections around the world.