The Forbidden City is located in the heart of Beijing with Tiananmen Square on the south side. For nearly 500 years, the Forbidden City had housed the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties up until 1911.
The Forbidden City was opened to the public in 1925 and was made a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987. According to UNESCO, the Forbidden City houses the world’s largest collection of wooden structures. The buildings in the Forbidden City include the Palace of Heavenly Purity, the Hall of Mental Cultivation, the Gate of Divine Might, and the Hall of Literary Glory. It is really hard to choose on which to visit first as it is really HUGE inside.
We made our way inside the actual Forbidden City along with the hordes of other tourists, shuffling along through the doorways, queuing for tickets. After a long queue and passing through the crowds, we found ourselves thrust into the huge square crowned by the Hall of Supreme Harmony.
We began a slow study of the buildings and architecture throughout the city. The deeper we dove into the City, the more intrigued I was by the tiny details on every building. The palaces themselves, as structures, are quite similar. But those little details, colors, and designs are precisely what makes the Forbidden City worth a wander.
Outside the Forbidden City, we managed to find traditional costume rental services which allowed us to put on the Qing Dynasty emperors and princess costumes and took some funny pictures of ourselves!