The Forbidden City, located in the middle of China’s capital Beijing, was included in the World Cultural Heritage List in 1987, hosting more than 10 million tourists each year as the largest UNESCO-protected wooden buildings compound in the world.
From the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Forbidden City, which has been home to 24 rulers for nearly 600 years, is named after the extraordinary security measures taken to protect the rulers of the time and the prohibition of people from entering this region until 1600. The palaces of the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial compound, were built by the Ming Dynasty between 1402-1420. Completed in 1420, the Forbidden City consists of 980 buildings with 8,707 rooms built on an area of 720,000 square meters. The city is surrounded by 4 kilometers of fortifications.
The southern gate of the Forbidden City, which is considered one of not only Beijing’s but China’s symbolic structures, opens to the Tiananmen Square. On the entrance to the Forbidden City at the Tiananmen Square, there is a photograph of Mao Zedong. The inscriptions of “Long live the People’s Republic of China”, and “Long live the Solidarity of the Peoples of the World” are also remarkable. There are signs on the roofs of buildings in the Forbidden City, which represent the titles of the people living in those buildings.
Another factor that attracts attention in the Forbidden City is that all the buildings here are facing south. This is for protection against the strong winds blowing from the north and to benefit from daylight. Although its accuracy is not clear, it is believed that only the buildings of the emperors’ concubines, who fell from favor, are looking north.
The Forbidden City, which has no trees around its walking trails to ensure the safety of the emperors, remains popular with many more legends.