Gate of supreme harmony

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Gate of supreme harmony


La Gate of supreme harmony (Taihemen)

The gate of supreme harmony separates the first court, that of the river with golden waters, from the court of the Palace of Supreme Harmony, the principal palace of the Forbidden City. It is a very important door. This door is guarded by two bronze lions. This is symbols of the imperial power. The lion on the east side is a male. His right front paw is placed on a globe indicating the imperial power extended throughout the world. The lioness on the west side has her left front paw on a lion cub. It represents the flourishing and prosperous imperial family. The rooms on each side would have served as warehouses to store items such as fur, porcelain, silver, tea, silk, satin and clothing.



Gate of supreme harmony

Gate of supreme harmony


Gate of supreme harmony

Gate of supreme harmony

This door is open on a thick wall covered with glazed tiles. More than just an opening, it is about 20 meters long, built on marble foundations rising to a height of 2 meters. There are two steep stairs to access, the two stairs are marble with decorated balustrades. At the entrance, there is a lion statue.

As the building is often rectangular, it has a double glazed tile roof with predominantly yellow, the color of the emperor. Each end of the roof has an imposing decorative element. On the ground floor is a lined arcades decorated, painted wood. There are 9 on the length and 4 on the width. The whole building is 1300 square meters. The wall that extends it is pierced by two other doors, more modest, but which are also two small pavilions in themselves: The door Zhendu (west) and the door Zhaode (East). They are identical, a kind of small pavilion without exterior wall and with a large single roof of yellow glazed tiles.

This building was not just a door, it was mainly the main hall in which the Ming emperors regulated the affairs of the state. The ceremonial was well oiled: Mandarins and soldiers came here early and waited for the imperial audience. The emperor was working on the throne. Thereafter the courtroom will be transferred to the Palace of Heavenly Purity, in the inner courtyard.



See too:

Back to the list of the pavilions of the forbidden city




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