The Forbidden City palace complex is in central Beijing, adjacent to Tiananmen Square. We first walked across the square seeing Mao’s mausoleum, the massive central government building, and the national museum – on three sides of the square, and then crossed the very recognizable wide boulevard, from the days of the student uprising, to enter the Forbidden City.
The Forbidden City includes the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty – the years 1420 to 1912, and now houses the Palace Museum. The Forbidden City served as the home of emperors and their households to include a wife, 3,000 concubines, their many children, and up to 5,500 eunuchs as well as being the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years.
The complex was constructed between 1406 and 1420, covers 180 acres, and has 9,99.5 rooms. It is beautifully restored and was named a UNESCO World heritage site in 1987.