Gugong Museum: date and history of creation, interesting facts and historical events, sights, nuances of Chinese culture, photos and reviews of tourists

Gugong Museum: date and history of creation, interesting facts and historical events, sights, nuances of Chinese culture, photos and reviews of tourists
Gugong Museum: date and history of creation, interesting facts and historical events, sights, nuances of Chinese culture, photos and reviews of tourists

Forbidden City - the name of the palace of the Chinese emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, who ruled China from the 15th to the early 20th century. At present, only the marble of the slabs remembers the touch of the firm step of the emperors and the light touch of the graceful feet of the concubines - now this is the Gugong Museum in China, and anyone can get here without any threat to life and he alth. You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of ancient philosophical and religious teachings and, touching the secrets frozen in stone, hear the whisper of centuries come to life.

Mystery of the Forbidden City

World Cultural Heritage

The Forbidden City, now known as the Palace Museum, was the imperial palace of two Chinese dynasties, the Ming and Qing. Located in the center of Beijing, it was built between 1406 and 1420.and served 24 Chinese emperors until 1911. Now it is a museum that stores artistic and cultural historical values. The luxurious and magnificent Forbidden City is considered one of the five greatest palaces in the world, which includes Versailles (France), Buckingham Palace (UK), the White House (USA) and the Kremlin (Russia). In 1987, it was classified by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site.

Currently, it is a museum with millions of works of art, through which we can trace the history of the country and the centuries-old traditions of its people.

Gugong (Gùgōng) means "Old Palace", and this is the term most often used by the people of China - we will use this name too.

Mystery of the name

The original name literally sounded like Forbidden Purple City - "Forbidden Purple City", and this is not a random set of words, because each of them symbolizes something in the name of the Gugong Museum.

Forbidden City - a city within a city

Purple - refers to the name of the purple star (as the Chinese called the North Star, which is the center of everything and denotes perfect order). Thus, the purple color was at the center of the Chinese organization and ensured the longevity of the emperor. It is often found in the painting of many buildings of the Gugong Museum in China.

City – With a population of 10,000 and an area of ​​72 hectares, it must be admitted that it was indeed a city within a city.

Forbidden - surrounded by ramparts three and a half kilometers long and10 m high, it served as a reliable protection for the imperial family, and mere mortals were forbidden to enter it.

Where do the origins of the Gugong Palace - the Forbidden City in Beijing (China) originate?

Historical Founding Background

Until the middle of the 14th century, on the territory of modern Beijing, there was the city of Khanbalik, which served as the capital of China during the Yuan dynasty, founded by the grandson of Genghis Khan, who fell as a result of a liberation uprising. As a result, the city, which was built by the best architects of China and Central Asia, was razed to the ground. The rebel leader, Zhu Yuanzhang, became the first emperor of the new Ming Dynasty, and the capital was moved south to the city of Nanjing. The emperor had 26 sons, and the eldest was to inherit the throne, while the younger ones were appointed to lead the provinces. In Beiping (modern Beijing), as Khanbaliq was renamed, the emperor's fourth son, Ju Di, was appointed ruler. Arriving at the place, he found the city in a state of disrepair, suffering from hunger, epidemics and enemy raids.

Emperor Ju Di

However, the young ruler showed himself from the best side and with his actions, which led to the stabilization of the life of the possessions granted to him, earned the respect and support of the people. Meanwhile, a misfortune occurred in the current capital - the first son of the emperor died, and his ten-year-old son and grandson of Zhu Yuanzhang, who was alive at that time, Zhu Yunwen, was appointed heir. When the young heir was 16 years old, the founder of the dynasty died, and he ascended the throne. Joo Dee took advantage of the situationand, under the pretext of a dangerous situation in the capital, he raised his troops, which was the beginning of a civil war, during which his nephew who ascended the throne died in a fire along with his wife and newborn second son.

The decision to build the Imperial Palace

Ju Di declares himself the new emperor, and tries to prove his usurped right to the throne with a monstrous wave of terror, which turns people against him who do not recognize him as the legitimate ruler. What does he do to save the situation? Moves the capital to Beiping, where he enjoys the support of the local population. And the question arises about the imperial palace - from this moment the history of the Forbidden City, now the Gugong Museum in China, begins.

Years of building a house for the emperor

The construction of the forbidden city took only 14 years, which was relatively short for such work. It began in 1406 and was completed in 1420. Some of the materials were taken from the ruins of the former palaces of the Yuan emperors, but this was clearly not enough, since such an important building required the best and most expensive materials, which were mined from different regions at the cost of thousands of deaths.

Materials for the construction of the palace

The most valuable species of wood was delivered from the wild virgin forests of the western provinces, marble was mined at local quarries in the southwest of Beijing, but voluminous monoliths of stones had to be delivered from different places. A well-known stone with a bas-relief with dragons, located in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony of the palace, which amazesthe imagination of tourists with their size.

There are many mysterious stories and legends about his appearance within the walls of the real Gugong Museum, but thanks to the surviving documentary sources, we can find out the real picture. This giant weighing 250 tons was transported from the Fangshan quarries, located at a distance of 70 km from the palace, in winter along a frozen road, which was turned into a continuous skating rink with the help of water from wells, and it took 28 days. Imagine the number of people involved in this process… Priceless "golden" bricks made from the best clay in China produced in Suzhou were used in the construction of the city. As a result, the Forbidden City became an architectural masterpiece of that time.

Features of architectural structures

In the Gugong Imperial Palace, they are in the form of square one-story structures and amaze not so much with their height as with their width and assembled appearance. The main buildings are located on the north and south axis with a front alley that once crossed the entire city and connected the gates. Other buildings are organized in groups of two on either side of the axis or along parallel axes. Large courtyards used for ceremonies and receptions are located in the south in the public part of the city, while residential palaces are located in the north.

This arrangement of buildings reflects the Chinese concept of feng shui, protecting a person and his home from wind and water. According to this teaching, buildings should be protected in the north and open to light and heat in the south. In the imperial city, these conditions are met: as in the north and west, the city is protected from the wind emanating from the desertGobi, while it is open to the plains in the south and east. The city is protected in the North by an artificial hill called "Coal Mountain", as it was the place where the fuel needed to heat the palace was stored. Pedestals up to 8 meters wide provide good insulation from moisture to wooden structures, and powerful columns growing from them support massive roofs covered with lacquered clay tiles. The two-level roofs of the palace seem very light and elegant, despite their two-story height and impressive size.

City within a city

Gugong Museum, located in the heart of Beijing, impresses with its scale. On an area of ​​72 hectares there is a huge number of elegant buildings for various purposes, ponds, gardens, bridges, the names of which seem to descend from the pages of oriental fairy tales.

The picturesque buildings of the museum

There are about 800 buildings and 9999 rooms (actually, there are fewer, but the number 9 means a lot to the Chinese). "Why not 10,000?" You ask. Yes, because according to legend, there are 10,000 rooms in the palace of the Heavenly Emperor, and it is not suitable for the son of Heaven, as the emperors of China called themselves, to outshine the Heavenly ruler.

Museum walk

Armed with knowledge, let's take a walk around the grounds of the Gugong Imperial Palace and see the main buildings by entering through the central door of the Noon Gate (the tower on a pedestal 10 meters high, which is the tallest building in the Forbidden City), taking advantage of the privilege that used to be mostly availableonly to emperors. The next gate - Taihemen - will meet us with stone statues of lions that protect the entrance and testify to the power of the owner, and will lead us to the throne room of Supreme Harmony, the main building of the museum and the tallest wooden structure in China.

City defense

Lions give us the power of dragons, images of which prevail in the design of the hall and are a symbol of the power of the emperor. They come in handy in this place, where coronations and birthdays of emperors used to take place, as well as magnificent palace receptions.

Throne of the Emperor

We will meet here sculptures of a turtle and a stork - symbols of longevity and prosperity. To prepare for receptions and relax after the ceremonies, the emperor used the next pavilion with a symbolic name - the Hall of the Preservation of Harmony. It is here that the huge stone, which we told you about earlier, is located. And now, since we have such an opportunity, let's look into the residential part of the Forbidden City through the gates of Heavenly Purity - there are two palaces here: Earthly Peace and Heavenly Purity. The first served as the chambers of the empress, and the second - the personal chambers of the emperor. From the residential complex we can get into the picturesque imperial garden, filled with a heavenly atmosphere conducive to relaxation and meditation.

Imperial Park

Final leg of the tour

The Gates of Military Prowess will lead us to the city, but we really do not want to leave this wonderful place, which promises us immersion in many legends and legends. But aboutwe will find out next time. However, you can continue the tour yourself by watching this video.

Photos of the forbidden city of Gugong, shared by travelers on their pages and on thematic forums, give a lot of positive emotions and make you want to plunge into the charm of this exciting fairy tale. According to the reviews of tourists who visited the former imperial palace, the territory of the complex is striking in its scale and number of buildings, allowing you to feel all the greatness of the past and feel the soul of China, traditions and customs. Many note with regret that it is impossible to get inside the palaces. Among the recommendations, there are more common tips to plan a visit for the whole day in order to be able to get acquainted in detail, and start your fascinating journey in the morning, when there are not so many visitors yet. As it may seem that all the buildings are the same, it is better to join a group with a guide.

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