The Forbidden City in Beijing is now more properly known as the Imperial Palace, containing the Imperial Palace Museum; in Chinese it is called Gu4gong1 Bo2wu4yuan4. It was called "Forbidden" because during Ming and Qing (=Ching=Manchu) dynasties, only the Emperor's family and their entourage were allowed entry. During the Qing Dynasty, the Manchu rulers were not ethnic Chinese (known as "Han"), and ethnic Chinese were supposedly barred from entry (or something like that). The Manchu people were from Northeastern China (Manchuria).

Map of the Forbbiden City

The Forbidden City contains the Imperial Museum in the Northeast Corner, and among its >9000 rooms, many of the treasures of the Emperors and their families are housed, although some of the large and best pieces were moved to Taiwan during the Civil Revolution (and are housed at the museum in Taipei). In addition to the 40 Yuan entry fee to enter the Forbidden City, there is a charge of 10 Yuan to enter the wing on the northeast corner of the Forbbiden City which contains the Art Treasures as well as the Wall of Nine Dragons.

Entrance to the Forbidden City by night. This attraction, like many in China, closes early at 5pm. It is best to go as early as possible (9 am?) to avoid the crowds, but this front part and the huge courtyard behind the front gates are free and still open in the evening.

The Forbidden City is surrounded by a moat (in light blue in the map above). This is the northwest corner of the Forbidden City taken from the west. A large part of the Forbidden City (front part) can be entered without charge. In the inner compound near where the 40 Yuan entrance fee is collected, you can exit through gates going west, and this leads to a view of the south section of the moat with a road that wraps around past the southwest tower to the Western Gate to allow you a view of the western wall and the northwest tower as seen below

A view from the North, looking westward toward the northwest tower of the Forbidden City.

A piece of treasure in the Imperial Museum of the Forbidden City.

A beautiful side scene of a Mural & Trees in the Forbidden City

A guardian statue in the private inner garden of the Forbidden City (at the north end)

The Emperor's Audience Hall in the Forbidden City

Huge, well-worn, and intricate lock to one of the Halls in the Forbidden City

Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Other images and explanations about the Forbbiden City

Other images and explanations about the Forbbiden City II

Another one III

And yet another IV

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