Why Do You Think It Was Called The Forbidden City


The Forbidden City, or Zijin Cheng as it is known in China, is located in the center of ancient Beijing. It covers 74 hectares and is made up of 980 buildings, including the Palace of Heavenly Purity. This complex was the residence of the Chinese emperors and their households, as well as their staff and guests, from the Ming Dynasty (1420) until the end of the Qing Dynasty (1911).

Political Significance

The Forbidden City was not just a place of residence, but also a political center, where the emperor and his court would convene to discuss matters of state. This area was tightly controlled and no one was allowed to enter or leave without permission. Even then, only those of the most elite social classes were allowed inside, making it a generally “off-limits” area.

Cultural Significance

Historically, the Forbidden City is known as one of the most important cultural sites in China, and is the only site preserved from the Ming Dynasty. This area is full of relics of China’s past that can give us insights into their culture. It has been a symbol of power, wealth and authority since it first was built and is a source of pride for many Chinese people.

Architectural Significance

The Forbidden City is an architectural marvel. Its structures are made from a combination of beautiful materials, including red and yellow glazed tiles, bronze, semi-precious stones, wood, and marble. This combination of materials creates a stunning effect that can be seen throughout this complex.

Religious Significance

The Forbidden City is also a place of religious importance. It was the center of religious rituals for the Chinese Empire and the home of the gods and the ancestors of the ruling families.

Myths and Legends

The history of the Forbidden City is full of myths and legends, adding to its mysterious reputation. One well-known legend says that the city was built on top of a large pond and that there is still a large pool of water underneath the city. Another legend says that there are rivers and lakes that run underneath the complex, which are used by the emperors to practice their martial arts.

Why it was called the Forbidden City

In short, the Forbidden City was called “forbidden” because it was off-limits to most of the public and was only accessible by permission. This made it especially difficult to enter, as permission was only given to those of the most elite social classes. The combination of its political, cultural, architectural, and religious significance, as well as its myths and legends, further added to its forbidden reputation.

Records and Artifacts

The Forbidden City is home to hundreds of thousands of artifacts, paintings, and scrolls. It is these records that give us a glimpse into the life of China’s royal families, as well as that of the people that lived outside of the walls. These records provide valuable insight, particularly for those trying to understand Chinese history and culture.

Modern Significance

Today, the Forbidden City is a major tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most-visited sites in the world and a major draw for visitors looking to experience the culture and history of ancient China. It is also an important symbol of Chinese culture, as it serves as a reminder of the nation’s past and the strength of its people.

Protection and Development

The Forbidden City has been subject to much conservation, restoration and development over the years, notably following the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 and the Cultural Revolution of 1966. This period saw major efforts to restore the complex to its former glory, as well as efforts to conserve and protect its cultural importance.

Legacy and Significance

The Forbidden City is a remarkable testament to the splendor and power of Imperial China. It has become a symbol of Chinese culture and heritage, as well as a reminder of the rich history of this nation. Its legacy remains strong even today, with the complex still influencing modern Chinese architecture.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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