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Forbidden City facts for kids

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The Forbidden City
故宫
Forbidden City Beijing Shenwumen Gate.JPG
The Gate of Divine Might, the northern gate. The lower tablet reads "The Palace Museum" (故宫博物院)
Established 1925
Location 4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng, Beijing, China
Type Art museum, Imperial Palace, Historic site
Visitors 16.7 million
Area 72 hectares
Built 1406–1420
Architect Kuai Xiang
Architectural style(s) Chinese architecture
Website (English)
(Chinese)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Part of Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang
Criteria Cultural: i, ii, iii, iv
Reference 439-001
Inscription 1987 (11th Session)
Forbidden City
Forbidden City (Chinese characters).svg
"Forbidden City" in Chinese characters
Chinese name
Chinese 紫禁城
Literal meaning "Purple [North Star] Forbidden City"
Manchu name
Manchu ᡩᠠᠪᡴᡡᡵᡳ
ᡩᠣᡵᡤᡳ
ᡥᠣᡨᠣᠨ

The Forbidden City, now known as the Palace Museum, is a large historical palace and an art museum in the historical center of Beijing, China. The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is very important to the history and architecture of China. The Forbidden City was the palace of the Emperor of China from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. For almost 500 years, it was as the home of emperors and their houses, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.

Name

The name "Forbidden City" is a translation of the Chinese name Zijin Cheng (Chinese: 紫禁城; pinyin: Zǐjìnchéng; literally "Purple Forbidden City"). The name Zijin Cheng was used for the first time in 1576. Another English name for Zijin Cheng is "Forbidden Palace". The word Zi means "purple" in Chinese. It means the North Star. This is because in ancient China it was called the Ziwei Star. In Chinese astrology the North Star was the home of the Celestial Emperor. Because the Forbidden City was the home of the emperor on Earth, the Chinese thought that it was Earth's equivalent of the Ziwei Star. Jin means "Forbidden" in Chinese. This was because no one was allowed to go in or out of the palace without the emperor's permission. Cheng means city.

The Chinese don't call the Forbidden Palace Zijin Cheng anymore. They call it Gùgōng (故宫) now. This means the "Former Palace". The museum that is in the Forbidden City is called the "Palace Museum" (Chinese: 故宫博物院; pinyin: Gùgōng Bówùyùan).

History

After Zhu Di became the Yongle Emperor, the capital of China was moved from Nanjing to Beijing. In 1406 construction began on the Forbidden City. The construction of the palace went on for over 14 years and more than a million workers had to work on building it. (1406-1420)


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