Forbidden City, Chinese (Pinyin) Zijincheng or (Wade-Giles romanization) Tzu-jaw ch’eng, magnificent castle complex at the core of Beijing (Peking), China. Charged in 1406 by the Yongle ruler of the Ming tradition, it was first authoritatively involved by the court in 1420. It was so named on the grounds that entrance to the zone was banned to the vast majority of the subjects of the domain. Government functionaries and even the supreme family were allowed just constrained access; the sovereign alone could enter any segment freely. The 178-section of land (72-hectare) compound was assigned an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987 in acknowledgment of its significance as the focal point of Chinese power for five centuries, just as for its unrivaled engineering and its present job as the Palace Museum of dynastic craftsmanship and history.
The design of the walled complex holds fast inflexibly to the customary Chinese geomantic routine with regards to feng shui. The direction of the Forbidden City, and so far as that is concerned all of Beijing, pursues a north-south line. Inside the aggravate, all the most significant structures, particularly those along the primary pivot, face south to respect the Sun. The structures and the formal spaces between them are orchestrated to pass on an impression of extraordinary majestic power while fortifying the unimportance of the person. This compositional vanity is borne out to the littlest of subtleties—the general significance of a structure can be judged from its tallness or width as well as by the style of its rooftop and the quantity of dolls roosted on the rooftop’s edges.
Among the more prominent tourist spots are the Wu (Meridian) Gate, the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihedian), and the Imperial Garden (Yuhuayuan). The Wu Gate is the monumental formal southern access to the Forbidden City. Its helper wings, which flank the door, are outstretched like the forepaws of a gatekeeper lion or sphinx. The entryway is likewise one of the tallest structures of the mind boggling, standing 125 feet (38 meters) high at its rooftop edge. One of its essential capacities was to fill in as a background for supreme appearances and decrees. Past the Wu Gate lies an enormous patio, 460 feet (140 meters) profound and 690 feet (210 meters) wide, through which the Golden River (Golden Water River) keeps running in a bow-formed curve. The stream is crossed by five parallel white marble spans, which lead to the Gate of Supreme Harmony (Taihemen).
North of the Gate of Supreme Harmony lies the Outer Court, heart of the Forbidden City, where the three primary organization lobbies remain on a three-layered marble porch ignoring an enormous square. The territory includes about seven sections of land (three hectares)— enough space to concede a huge number of subjects to pay praise to the head. Transcending over the space stands the Hall of Supreme Harmony, wherein the royal position of the head stands. This corridor, estimating 210 by 122 feet (64 by 37 meters), is the biggest single structure in the compound, just as one of the tallest (being around a similar tallness as the Wu Gate). It was the focal point of the supreme court. Toward the north, on a similar triple porch, stand the Hall of Central (or Complete) Harmony (Zhonghedian) and the Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohedian), likewise loci of government capacities.
More distant north lies the Inner Court, which contains the three lobbies that formed the supreme living quarters. Nearby these royal residences, at the northernmost furthest reaches of the Forbidden City, is the 3-section of land (1.2-hectare) Imperial Garden, the natural plan of which appears to leave from the inflexible symmetry of the remainder of the compound. The nursery was planned as a position of unwinding for the ruler, with a whimsical course of action of trees, fish lakes, blossom beds, and model. In its middle stands the Hall of Imperial Peace (Qin’andian), a Daoist sanctuary where the head would withdraw for consideration.
The Forbidden City stopped to be the seat of Qing (Manchu) majestic government with the Chinese Revolution of 1911–12. Albeit a portion of the antiquated structures (which had been fixed and remade since the fifteenth century) were lost to the attacks of the transformation and during the war with Japan (1937–45), the site was kept up all in all. Puyi, the last Qing head, was allowed to live there after his relinquishment, yet he covertly left the castle (and Beijing) in 1924. In the late twentieth century a few of the castle structures were reestablished.
The film The Last Emperor (1987), which depicts the life of Puyi, was recorded to a limited extent inside the Forbidden City.