The Forbidden City
was the Chinese imperial palace
from the Ming Dynasty
to the end of the Qing Dynasty
. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum
. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors
and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.
Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings with 8,707 bays of rooms and covers 720,000 m2 (7,800,000 sq ft). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture
, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site
in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO
as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
The Gate of Supreme Harmony (Tàihémén
) is the second major gate at the southern side of the Forbidden City
.The gate was originally built during the Ming Dynasty
, when it was called Fengtianmen. Following the Qing
conquest of China, the gate was given its present Chinese and Manchu name.