The Forbidden City, or Palace Museum (the former Palace for Chinese), is the imperial palace in the center of the Beijing Imperial City whose construction was ordered by Yongle, third emperor of the Ming Dynasty; conducted between 1406 and 1420. The palace covers 72 hectares including 50 hectares of gardens and is one of the best preserved in China. Abroad, its name Forbidden City is the most common because as it was the residence of Chinese emperors and their families and servants, the public could not enter. It was like a real city and they only came out of the enclosure in very rare occasions. The palace has a wall 10 meters high and 6 meters wide, surrounded by a moat, which is accessed by four doors; being Wumen the most important because it is a central building with two floors and nine intercolumniations front. 24 emperors lived there. The palace has a courtyard and an outdoor with a lazy river. The city was opened to the public in 1924 and today is one of the most visited places in China and it houses the Old Palace; the largest museum of China and is a World Heritage Site since 1987, it has had many renovations and work continues.
You can get there by subway.
The Forbidden City was protected from mass trade so you will find just arranged spaces for the sale of souvenirs and light snacks. You can also plan to do a picnic.
There are many free exhibitions and other paid ones so depending on what you want to see, you must calculate to visit it for a half day or a full day. It’s better to inform you before not to be disappointed because it is very large and there are always too many people.
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