eBeijing, the Official Website of the Beijing Government

A brief history of the Forbidden City and its important part Wu Men Gate

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At the beginning of the fifteenth century AD, the third Ming Emperor, Yung-lo created one of the most dazzling architectural masterpieces in the world. Forbidden City, the Imperial Palace complex in Beijing, contains hundreds of buildings and some 9,000 rooms. It served the emperors of China from 1421 to 1911. In the centre of China's capital Beijing, the Forbidden City displays an extraordinarily harmonious balance between buildings and open space within a symmetrical layout. It contains immense courtyards, terraces and stairways, and buildings decorated with golden roofs, vermilion, vivid red pigment of durable quality. Columns and green, red and yellow facings are amazing. The Forbidden City conveys a strong image of wealth and earthly power and surpasses Versailles in its majesty, without abandoning a sense of human scale.


The Wumen Gate building, the entrance of Forbiden City, is  located on the meridian line of the city. That was a gate tower buildingwas built in 1420. Its scope is next to Tai He Dian Palace. And it is the highest construction of the Forbidden City, the total height of which is 36 meters.
 
The uses of Wu Men were many:


The entrance of the Forbiden City is a gate tower building. On December 1st of lunar calendar the emperors would promulgate the calendar of next year at the rostrum of Wumen Gate;


When the troops returned triumphant after they won the battles at important campaigns the generals would perform the ceremony of presenting  the prisoners to the emperors here.


At important ceremonies and festivals majestic insignias were reviewed by the emperors at Wumen gate. 
 
Though the Forbidden City is the largest comprehensie museum in China,  the traditional building  is hard to be adapted for use as  modern exhibition activities. The particularities of relics won't permit to install illumination, air-conditioning, security and fire-equiments that presented an obstacle to the exchange with the famous museums of foreign countries. The efforts of excellent renovation  design  were rewarded that finally added modern functions after they put  five years of work with precision on this project. Now a huge glass box with top-levelled exhibition techiques already laid in the Hall of Wumen building and it is the sole medernized exhibition hall we have ever had. Visitors walk through two glass doors and  find they have  placed themselves in a dim large hall and feel themselves attracted by the ceilings of the hall. Through the glass ceilings you see the colorful paintings of the old ceilings that are still the charm you couldn't find in other places. Seeing the high ceilings of the palace hall you would have the illusion that the glass box is floating in the air. The air between the glass barrier and the building complex composes an independent space in order to reach the needed temperature and moisture that are suited to ancient archetecture. The floors are suspended above the original brick ground. All the structures are not connected to the inner components of the palace building. Instead they used the suspending locks to compose the supporting system. You would sigh  what an impressive archetecture !
 

Now the exhibition "Splendor of the White Eagle: Arts and Power at the Saxon-Polish Court (1670-1763) is displayed at Wu Men building from april to august.Dresden is one of the most important museums in Germany. The exhibition displayed here include superb pieces from the collection of Dresden Museum objects of which were used by the Saxon court in the 17th and 18th centuries. The exhibitions reflect various aspects of Saxon history and court life. This exhibition here is a continuation of the cooperation between the Palace Museum and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. It is believed the visitors will gain a better understanding of German history and culture of the 17th and 18th centuries while appreciating exquisite treasures of European art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: ebeijing.gov.cn
Date: 2009-05-04