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The Palace Museum

Address:4 Jingshan Qianjie;Beijing,100009;China
Website:http://www.dpm.org.cn/shtml/2/@/8797.html
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty. It is located in the center of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.
 

Focus
  • History
  • Architecture
  • Organization

Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum's former collection is now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War.

Ming dynasty

When Hongwu Emperor's son Zhu Di became the Yongle Emperor, he moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing, and construction began in 1406 on what would become the Forbidden City. Construction lasted 14 years and required more than a million workers. From 1420 to 1644, the Forbidden City was the seat of the Ming dynasty. In April 1644, it was captured by rebel forces led by Li Zicheng, who proclaimed himself emperor of the Shun dynasty.He soon fled before the combined armies of former Ming general Wu Sangui and Manchuforces, setting fire to parts of the Forbidden City in the process.

Republic

By October, the Manchus had achieved supremacy in northern China, and a ceremony was held at the Forbidden City to proclaim the young Shunzhi Emperor as ruler of all China under the Qing dynasty.The Qing rulers changed the names on some of the principal buildings, to emphasise "Harmony" rather than "Supremacy",made the name plates bilingual (Chinese and Manchu).

In 1860, during the Second Opium War, Anglo-French forces took control of the Forbidden City and occupied it until the end of the war. In 1900 Empress Dowager Cixi fled from the Forbidden City during the Boxer Rebellion, leaving it to be occupied by forces of the treaty powers until the following year.

People's Republic

After being the home of 24 emperors – 14 of the Ming dynasty and 10 of the Qing dynasty – the Forbidden City ceased being the political centre of China in 1912 with the abdication of Puyi, the last Emperor of China. Under an agreement with the new Republic of China government, Puyi remained in the Inner Court, while the Outer Court was given over to public use,until he was evicted after a coup in 1924. The Palace Museum was then established in the Forbidden City in 1925. In 1933, the Japanese invasiron of China forced the evacuation of the national treasures in the Forbidden City. Part of the collection was returned at the end of World War II, but the other part was evacuated to Taiwan in 1948 under orders by Chiang Kai-shek, whose Kuomintang was losing the Chinese Civil War. This relatively small but high quality collection was kept in storage until 1965, when it again became public, as the core of the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

Communist Era

After the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, some damage was done to the Forbidden City as the country was swept up in revolutionary zeal. During the Cultural Revolution, however, further destruction was prevented when Premier Zhou Enlai sent an army battalion to guard the city.

The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 by UNESCO as the "Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties", due to its significant place in the development of Chinese architecture and culture. It is currently administered by the Palace Museum, which is carrying out a sixteen-year restoration project to repair and restore all buildings in the Forbidden City to their pre-1912 state.

In recent years, the presence of commercial enterprises in the Forbidden City has become controversial. A Starbucks store that opened in 2000 sparked objections and eventually closed on July 13, 2007. Chinese media also took notice of a pair of souvenir shops that refused to admit Chinese citizens in order to price-gouge foreign customers in 2006.

Traditionally, the Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The Outer Court (外朝) or Front Court (前朝) includes the southern sections, and was used for ceremonial purposes. The Inner Court (内廷) or Back Palace (后宫) includes the northern sections, and was the residence of the Emperor and his family, and was used for day-to-day affairs of state. (The approximate dividing line shown as red dash in the plan above.) Generally, the Forbidden City has three vertical axes. The most important buildings are situated on the central north–south axis.

Outer Court

Entering from the Meridian Gate, one encounters a large square, pierced by the meandering Inner Golden Water River, which is crossed by five bridges. Beyond the square stands the Gate of Supreme Harmony (F). Behind that is the Hall of Supreme Harmony Square. A three-tiered white marble terrace rises from this square. Three halls stand on top of this terrace, the focus of the palace complex. From the south, these are the Hall of Supreme Harmony (太和殿), the Hall of Central Harmony (中和殿), and the Hall of Preserving Harmony (保和殿).

Inner Court

The Inner Court is separated from the Outer Court by an oblong courtyard lying orthogonal to the City's main axis. It was the home of the Emperor and his family. In the Qing dynasty, the Emperor lived and worked almost exclusively in the Inner Court, with the Outer Court used only for ceremonial purposes.

Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum's former collection is now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War.

Tour guide
  • Opening hours
  • Transportation
  • Ticket service
  • Directions

OPEN Tuesday - Sunday

CLOSED Monday (except for national holidays and July-August)

April 1st – October 31st: 8:30 to 17:00

Last entry: 16:10

Last tickets are sold at 16:00


 

Summer vacation (in year 2014: July 5th to August 24th) hours: 8:00 to 17:00

Last entry: 16:10

Last tickets are sold at 16:00


 

November 1st – March 31st : 8:30 to 16:30

Last entry: 15:40

Last tickets are sold at 15:30


 

*The Palace Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday all year round and on national holidays that fall on Mondays, as well as every day during the summer vacation period (1 July to 31 August).

*There may be temporary closures which cannot always be scheduled in advance, since they are frequently caused by unforeseen circumstances. The management of the Museum would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused.

By Bus:

To the Meridian Gate(Wu men), take bus No.1, 10, 120, 126, 2, 52, 59, 728, 82, 99, Zhuan 1, Zhuan 2 to "Tian'an Men East" (Tian'an men dong).

Or take bus No. 1, 10, 22, 5, 52, 728, 99, Zhuan 1, Zhuan 2, to "Tian'an men West" (Tian'an men xi).

(Please note that the Merdian Gate is the ENTRANCE of the museum)

To the Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwu men), take bus No. 101, 103, 109, 124, 609, 685, or Zhuan 1 and Zhuan 2, to "Gugong". (Please note that the Gate of Divine Prowess is the EXIT of the museum)


 

By Subway:

Take Line 1 to "Tian'an men East" (Tian'an men dong) or "Tian'an men West" (Tian'an men xi).

For more detailed transportation information, please visit Beijing Public Transportation Group at www.bjbus.com


 

Parking:

There is no parking outside the north and the south gates of the Palace Museum. The following public parking lots are located in the vicinity of the Forbidden City:

*Outside the East Prosperity Gate (Donghua men) ;

*In the back street of Jingshan Park;

*In front of the Front Gate of Beihai Park

Visitors are encouraged to visit the Museum via public transportation.


 

Taxi Stands:

According to the local traffic regulations, taxis are not allowed to stop at the Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwu men). Visitors exiting this gate need to walk further either east or west to hail a taxi. Taxis are not available along Chang'an Avenue, which is in front of the Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tian'an men), the southern access to the Meridian Gate.

The Museum accepts MasterCard, Visa, and PayUnion cards for ticket purchase.


 

April 1st – October 31st : 60 yuan

November 1st – March 31st : 40 yuan


 

1. For entrance to the Treasure Gallery (Zhenbao guan, where the Stone Drum Gallery is also located) and to the Hall of Clocks (Zhongbiao guan) additional 10-yuan tickets are necessary.

2. Children under 120 cm in height are free of charge.

3. Special 20 yuan tickets are available for China's elementary, middle school, and university students (including foreign students studying in Chinese universities) with valid student I.D. or certified letter from school administrator (including students from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, excluding graduate and adult education students).

Collections
  •  

    Clock with Revolving Flowers (Tongdujin zhuan piqiu huazhong)

  •  

    Bronze Jar with Copper-inlaid Designs of Hunting Scenes

  •  

    Royal Family Enjoying Autumn

  •  

    Blue Glass Zun

  •  

    Tortoise Shell Incised with an Inquiry on the Possibility of Fu Lai Becoming Ill (Yinwang Wu Ding zhenwen Fu Lai huanji keci bujia)

  •  
    图片

    Jade Bi-disk with Characters for "Eternal Happiness" Carved in Openwork (Yu loudiao guwen Changle bi)

  •  

    Painted Wooden Statue of Guanyin (Avalokitesvara)

Relevant
  • Books
  • Documentary film
  • Movie and Television play
  • Music

1.《From Emperor to citizen : the autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi》

Author:Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi

Pages:496 pages

ISBN:0-19-282099-0

Date of Publication:1989

Press:Foreign Languages Pr


1.《The Invisible Palace》

Author:Yang, Xiagui; Li, Shaobai (photography); Chen, Huang (translation)

Pages:197 pages

ISBN: 7-119-03432-4

Date of Publication:2006-01-01

Press:Beijing: Foreign Language Press


 

1.《The Palace Museum》(2005)

导演:周兵 周澜

集数:12

单集片长:45min

1.《The Forbidden City 》(1918)

Director:Sidney Franklin

Screenwriter:Mary Murillo

Length:62 mins

Type:剧情 / 爱情

Starring:Norma Talmadge / Thomas Meighan / E. Alyn Warren / Michael Rayle


2.《The Last Emperor 》(1987)

Director:贝纳尔多·贝托鲁奇

Screenwriter:贝纳尔多·贝托鲁奇 / Mark Peploe

Length:163mins / 219mins (TV Edition)

Type:剧情 / 传记 / 历史

Starring:尊龙 / 陈冲 / 彼得·奥图尔 / 邬君梅 / 英若诚 / 卢燕


 

1.《Palace Memories》

作曲:S.E.N.S.

填词:S.E.N.S.

原唱:S.E.N.S.

Exhibitions
  • Current
  • Upcoming
  • Past

1.Jasper Wares of Qing Dynasty Collected by the Palace Museum and Manas

The exhibition provides a close look of 110 pieces (sets) of jasper jade objects datable the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) from the museum’s permanent collection. These exquisitely carved jasper work include daily utensils, ornament, and curios. Besides, twenty-six blocks of jade rocks quarried in present day from Manas County in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region are also on display.

Dates: 16 August - 16 September 2014

Ticket sold: 8:30—16:00

Openning Hours:8:00—17:00

Last Entry:16:10

Admission:Ticket: 60 rmb/person

                    Treasure Gallery: 10 rmb/person

                    Clock Gallery: 10 rmb/person

                    Children under 120 cm in height are free of charge

Location:Hall for Abstinence (Zhai gong), Hall of Sincere Solemnity (Chengsu dian)


 

2. Selected Works Donated by Mr. Sun Yingzhou (1893-1966)

Mr. Sun Yingzhou was from a small village in northeastern China's Hebei province. After years of working in antique shops in the capital city Beijing, starting as an apprentice and errand-runner, and eventually becoming buyer and vice manager, he finally settled down and established his own business. He opened the Dunhua Antique Shop in downtown Beijing in 1923.

Dates: 12 September 2013 through 12 May 2014

Ticket sold: 8:30—16:00

Openning Hours:8:00—17:00

Last Entry:16:10

Admission:Ticket: 60 rmb/person

                     Treasure Gallery: 10 rmb/person

                     Clock Gallery: 10 rmb/person

                     Children under 120 cm in height are free of charge

Location:Palace of Great Benevolence (Jingren gong)


 

3. The Qing Imperial Birthday Celebrations(1644-1911)

The imperial birthday was one of the most significant festivals in traditional China and the whole country participated. The exhibition consists of the grand celebratory spectacles for three Qing emperors and two empress dowagers, including the Kangxi Emperor (r. 1662-1722), the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736-1795) and the Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908).

Ticket sold: 8:30—16:00

Openning Hours:8:00—17:00

Last Entry:16:10

Admission:Ticket: 60 rmb/person

                      Treasure Gallery: 10 rmb/person

                      Clock Gallery: 10 rmb/person

                      Children under 120 cm in height are free of charge

Location:West corridor rooms to the south of the Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing gong)


 

4. Qing Dynasty Court Insignia

In the corridors flanking the Gate of Glourious Harmony (Xihe men) which is to the west of the "Inner Golden Water River" (i.e. inside the Meridian Gate on the west) can be seen some of the grand canopies, fans and insignia that were used in imperial ritual.

Ticket sold: 8:30—16:00

Openning Hours:8:00—17:00

Last Entry:16:10

Admission:Ticket: 60 rmb/person

                     Treasure Gallery: 10 rmb/person

                     Clock Gallery: 10 rmb/person

                     Children under 120 cm in height are free of charge

Location:West corridor rooms to the south of the Gate of Supreme Harmony (Taihe men)

1. Paintings on Immortals and Immortality in the Palace Museum Collection

Dates: 18 December 2014 through 17 March 2015

Ticket sold: 8:30—16:00

Openning Hours:8:00—17:00

Last Entry:16:10

Location:Palace of Prolonging Happiness (Yanxi gong)

2. Ink Rubbings Collected by the Epigraphist Zhu Yi'an

Dates: 1 September through 31 October 2014

Ticket sold: 8:30—16:00

Openning Hours:8:00—17:00

Last Entry:16:10

Location:Palace of Prolonging Happiness (Yanxi gong)

1. Dynastic Paintings and Calligraphy in the Palace Museum Collection (5th Rotation)

The exhibition at the Hall of Martial Valor (Wuying dian) examines acclaimed paintings and calligraphy in chronological order from the third century to the early twentieth century. Accompanied with these masterpieces are entries focusing on the feature of the times, change of styles, major schools, and famous artists. Due to conservation requirements, the works will be changed regularly. As a continuation of last year's three rotations, the year 2009 also sees three rounds of the display: The 4th rotation lasts from 15 April to 15 June The 5th rotation lasts from 25 June to 25 August The 6th rotation lasts from 3 September to 1 November.

Ticket sold: 8:30—16:00

Openning Hours:8:30—17:00

Last Entry:16:10

Location:The Hall of Martial Valor (Wuying dian)


 

2. Standardizing the Written Language: Dictionaries on Ethnic Languages from the Qing Palace

Thanks to the special cultural supporting policy, dictionaries on ethnic languages proliferated in the Qing dynasty, which was characterized by large inventory of words, comprehensive contents, various languages, varied editions, and colorful designs. Arranged in two sections, more than 40 dictionaries accompanied by the portraits of the ruling emperors are presented.

Ticket sold: 8:30—16:00

Openning Hours:8:30—17:00

Last Entry:16:10

Location:West side hall of the Hall of Martial Valor (Wuying dian)