Traduire en français Translate in english

Map of the Forbidden city


The Forbidden City is a very large complex of pavilions, palaces, gardens and courtyards located in the center of Beijing, the Chinese capital. It is the ancient palace of the emperors of China and as such it was the most sacred place of the country since its construction, in 1420. It was used until the beginning of the XXth century, when the Republic is chasing the last emperor, Pu Yi.

Nowadays it is a huge museum, it is also the largest historical wooden ensemble recognized by UNESCO. It has an inestimable value and is an integral part of the history of China, as it can be the Great Wall (which, nevertheless, had a much lesser historical role).


Map of the forbidden city

The forbidden city has a rectangular shape, its layout is largely symmetrical, although this symmetry is lacking in many places.

Forbidden city in aerial view, with delimitation

In practice we can establish a division of the Forbidden City by zone:

The outer court was the seat of power, it was there that the emperor made his decisions on the country, it is there also where he met the foreign personalities visiting him. The inner courtyard corresponded to the private apartments of the Emperor. Both courtyards were linked to eastern and western annexes, forming the bulk of the palace. But over time the palace underwent some - rare - transformations, with the development of the Imperial Garden, north of the complex, and the Qianlong Palace, at the Northeast corner. Finally we must know that the palace was equipped with many defenses, even if according to the periods they were there only in principle since the place was so revered that people would have thought to attack it. That's what happened anyway during the peasant revolts, but such attacks were rare.



List of the pavilions

In the outer court

In the East outer annexes

In the West outer annexes

In the inner court

In the East inner annexes

In the West inner annexes

Imperial garden

In the palace of Qianlong

In the defensives buildings



See also:

History of the forbidden city

Visit of the forbidden city




Copyright 2013 - 2018 - Any reproduction prohibited without the authorization of the author. This website is a private, unofficial site resulting from the compilation work of the works of different authors. Unless otherwise stated, the pictures are free of rights. To distinguish free illustrations from others, see: Documentary sources. Other Internet sites of the same author in other fields: Marguerite Duras, Les Pyrénées Catalanes. Author of the website : See credits.