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FAQ on the Forbidden City


Questions about its architecture


The Forbidden City is a complex of dozens of buildings enclosed in a wide and high enclosure. It is located in downtown Beijing, the Chinese capital, at the end of Tianan'men Square.

Learn more: Location of the Forbidden city

It is included in a rectangle of 1,120 km by 910 meters, but most of the time it does not count the moats, in this case it measures "only" 960m by 750m. This is still a good area of 72 hectares, and it is right in the center of Beijing.

Learn more: Dimensions of the Forbidden city


Questions about the visit


The Forbidden City is open to the public from 8:30 am to 5 pm in the evening. Given the length of the visit, which is inevitably very long, the counters no longer issue entries from 15:30, that is one and a half hours before the site closes. (Closed at 16:30 from 15 October to 15 April)

Learn more: Visit the forbidden City.

The cost of the admission ticket is set at 60 yuan. You can rent audio guides at 40 yuan. During 14 euro cents the yuan, it gives us approximately 8 euros. It is not very expensive for this monument so rich.

Learn more: Visit the forbidden City.

It is the whole problem of the forbidden city: Very extensive, very rich, with many pavilions sometimes not very accessible, the visit is often frustrating because it is too short. In practice, we can spend several days on the spot without being able to see everything, so to remain more pragmatic, a good half day seems to be the minimum. In half a day you will have the time to go through the main pavilions, see the gardens, and take some time to admire some collections.

But if you want to explore even more the visit of the monument, to spend a day is not too much. You can then detail the annexed pavilions, take more time in the collections, and enjoy the catering services that will make you a refreshing break.

Learn more: Visit the forbidden City.


Questions about its history


The dates of construction of the forbidden city are known: From 1406 to 1420, 14 years of construction only. To get so much land out of the foundations, build the buildings, build the ramparts and dig the moat, if it seems like a real feat, it has still been reproduced several times. Thus, for comparison, the Taj Mahal was built from 1632 to 1648, in 16 years. His mausoleum was completed in only 11 years. And the Eiffel Tower came up in 2 years and 5 months only (but with industrial means, of course).

To learn more: History of the Forbidden City

The forbidden city was built by Yongle, the third emperor of the Ming dynasty. He dismissed his nephew, the legitimate heir to the throne, and took power by force. To legitimize his presence at the head of the Chinese people, he moved his capital to Beijing (formerly it was in Nanjing) and built a new imperial palace there: It is the starting point of the construction of the forbidden city.

To learn more: History of the Forbidden City



See also:

Main events of China

Museum of Palace




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