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Monday, July 4, 2011

The Forbidden Purple City - Tử Cấm Thành - Bản di chúc của một bạo chúa

Nguyen An, a vietnamese prisoner and eunuch in service to the Chinese emperor Yongle, an Emperor ò the Min Dynasty, was the chief architect and chief manager-executive who constructed the Forbidden City of Beijing and other major buildings in China
Nguyễn An, một tù binh chiến tranh người Việt Nam, đã được Vĩnh Lạc, hoàng đế nhà Minh, giao trọng trách thiết kế và tổng chỉ huy việc xây dựng Tử Cấm Thành Bắc Kinh. Ngoài ra, ông còn làm tổng công trình sư nhiều công trình quan trọng khác ở Trung Hoa.







The Forbidden City was the imperial palaces of the Ming and Qing dynasties, known as the Palace Museum. Consitruction took 14 years and was completed in 1420. In subsequent years, capotal Ming Dynasty was moved from Nanjing to Beijing. Twenty-four emperors of the Ming and 14 in 10 in the Qing Dynasty to rule here. The last dynasty fell in 1911, but the Emperor Pu Yi was still living in the courtyard until 1924, when he was banished from the palace of the troops of General Feng Yuxiang. After that, the palace was opened to the public as the Palace Museum and it was no longer prohibited from ordinary people.
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Forbidden City, located in central Beijing, an area of 72 hectares. It has a rectangular shape, 961 meters from north to south and 753 meters from east to west. There are a total 9999.5 rooms in the whole clmplex. There is a 10-foot wall, surrounded by a 52-meter-wide moat.
The Forbidden City is the largest part of ancient Chinese architecture still standing. Some of the buildings were damaged by lightning and rebuilt in the Ming and Qing dynasties. It had beed expanded several times, but the original model was retained.
The Forbidden City was under heavy guard, but the emperors still do not feel sufficiently confident and worried that someone can dig a tunnel to the palace. Thus, they are ground with bricks laid in a very special way: seven layers of longitudinal and eight layers crosswise total fifteen layers. Emperors changed rooms they stayed in almost every night to avoid the killers, only those close to them eunuchs knew where emperors were left each night.
All buildings in the Forbidden City were made of wood, which was prone to fire. Thus, the fire safety measures should be taken. Around the courtyard you can find a lot of iron tubs which were used for storing water from a fire. In general, the complex, there are 308 water tanks, 18 of them gilded. Unfortunately, the gold was scraped off from the occupation forces out of the eight allied powers in 1900. Most tanks are made in the Ming Dynasty have large holes compared to those made in the Qing Dynasty. In winter, fires were lit to keep the water inside from freezing. On the north side under the tanks are the vents for the fan fires. In addition, lightning rods were installed on the roofs of buildings in 1953.
Hall of Supreme Harmony. stands along the north-south axis on a triple marble terrace. Each terrace is higher than the other, surrounded by marble balustrades carved with dragon and phoenix designs. Dragon and phoenix were symbols of the emperor and empress, respectively. You’ll find 18 bronze incense burners, representing 18 provinces of China during the Qing Dynasty.
Double-layer roof is the tallest building of all rank. In ancient Chinese buildings, the roofs were important social status symbol. I’ll show you some of the various ranks, during our visit, and you can surely tell the difference yourself. Looking at you can see 11 of mythical animals on an inverted cornice of the building. I have heard that in your country, some structures are built with eaves turned into an ancient Chinese style.
In ancient China, there once large wooden nails to prevent tiles from slipping. They were replaced by glazed tiles which were later formed into a mythical animals such as dragon and phoenix. They were considered auspicious animal that can ward off disasters and ensure happiness and unity. Currently, they serve only decorative purposes.
Heads of mythical beasts appear from the edge of the terrace, 1142 in number, who serve as decoration and as rainspouts. If you have arrived on a rainy day, you can witness the misty and mysterious scene here. Water pours from the mouth of the mythical monsters, making ticktack sounds that echo in the quiet, a vast complex.
Take the stairs and get to the terrace. Central has been reserved for the emperor, which was held in a palanquin on the marble ramp.
In the eastern part of the terrace is sun-dial which is used to tell time when there was sun. People looked at the marking of time on the upper part of the summer and at its bottom in the winter. Who can tell the time, he was not looking at the clock? There is the question: “When there was no sunlights, that will be used to tell time just a wide variety of water-clock timing equipment is kept in the Forbidden City now look at what is in the western part of the small! .. Pavilion, in which a measure of copper stored grain. It was used in as a national standard in the Qing Dynasty. the measure of grain and sundials were the symbol of imperial justice and fairness. dragon headed turtles and storks were censers. They were both symbols of longevity.
Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Throne Hall, built in 1420. This is the largest wooden structure still standing in China. It has been used for large ceremonies such as the celebration of Winter Solstice, Chinese New Year, the birthday of the Emperor and the ascension to the throne, and sending generals battles. In such cases, there would be an imperial guard of honor stood before the hall and extends to the main gate.
Base and throne carved from Sandlewood. Throne, was a symbol of imperial power. The floor was paved with gold bricks which were baked at 136 days and then immersed in tung oil to polish it all the time. Looking at you can see cluster ceilings, designed to create an aura of solemnity and mystery. In the middle of the ceiling design of two dragons playing with pearls. They were made of glass and painted with mercury. Most gem called “Xuan Yuan Jing” in Chinese, because according to Chinese legend, Emperor Huang Di, who was also called “Xuan Yuan Shi” and created the first glass. Pearl was said to be able to detect any usurper of imperial power. If someone was not a descendant of Emperor Huang Di took the throne, she will fall down and hit him to death. Yuan Shih-kai, who usurped the throne in 1912, was so frightened that he moved the throne a little forward to avoid being hit.

Forbidden City – Meridian Gate

Meridian Gate is the southern entrance to the Forbidden Purple City. This massive gate, consisting of five holes, has the shape of a huge inverted alphabet capital “U”. It is the largest gates of the Forbidden City, 35.6 meters in height and overcome the five pavilions. The central pavilion is rectangular in shape, while the remaining four, two on each side, square, henee nickname “Five Phoenix Tower”.
Forbidden City Meridian Gate
Forbidden City Meridian Gate
Meridian Gate was so named because the Chinese emperors believed that they lived in the center of the universe, and the Meridian Line went through the Forbidden City.
14 emperors of the Ming and 10 emperors of the Qing Dynasty ruled China with absolute power who probably has no parallel in human history. However, except for the room that the Emperor chose to stay overnight to avoid the possible killers, they are very little personal life. When they entered the church sanctuary, the bells in the west of the pavilion were amazed. When they went to the temple of ancestors, the drums in the eastern pavilion were beaten. VIPS Modern simply follow their example, sirens and motorcycles in front, long car park behind.
“Why are there five holes?” Just because people of different social classes and the statue does not go through the same hole. Center hole was reserved for the emperor’s only empress was entitled to pass through the opening times on their wedding day:
The first three successful candidates in imperial examinations may enter the opening once, too, when they should have been received from the emperor. East opening for the ministers while the West is opening for the royal family. Other openings were for minor officials. Ordinary people were forbidden to enter the city. Today, only two holes are ready for visitors, one for emperors and one for ministers

Forbidden City – Hall of Supreme Harmony

Hall of Supreme Harmony is also nicknamed “the throne room.” It was built in 1406, but the current structure dates back to 1695, during the reign of Emperor Kangxi’s. It was renovated in 1765 and repainted in the Yuan, the captain and recently restored. Since the Qing emperors were the Manchus, the inscriptions on all the halls of the palace were both in Chinese and Manchu, as can still be seen on the inner courts.
Large yard is in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony. The Yard 10.000 square meters in area. 33 single-room units on each side were used as warehouses for the storage of items such as furs, china, silver, tea, silk and satin and clothes. Now I have a question for you.
Forbidden City Hall of Supreme Harmony
Forbidden City Hall of Supreme Harmony
There are no trees here! It’s quite strange that there are no trees in such a large place. There are some interesting reasons for this. In the Ming and Qing emperors took part in public affairs, or are just basically Grand Hall of Supreme Harmony, the symbol of imperial power. Emperors considered themselves sons of heaven, born to reign over the country, so they should hold high positions. Nothing was allowed to rise above the Hall of Supreme Harmony, and the trees were no exception. Another reason was that the emperor feared that the killers can use trees as shelter. The third reason was related to Chinese characters. Tree in the square corresponds to the word trouble. Emperors were so superstitious that they believed the trees in the yard, probably not bring the end of the work of the monarchy.
There’s something interesting about it. In 1911, after the Qing dynasty fell, the last Qing emperor Pu Yi was allowed to remain in the courtyard. The outer court, however, was transferred to the so-called “democratic government”. In 1915, Yuan Shikai, commander, wanted to be emperor. He was preparing for his inauguration, when he ordered all the Manchu inscriptions on the outer court to be removed. But he was ousted only 83 days after he ascended the throne and the inscription here has seen him in scandal.
Three flights of marble stairs lead to the terrace in the middle of the central flight of huge stone carvings in the design of “dragons playing with pearls” over which the emperors of sedan chairs were carried out. On the terrace, on the east corner was a sundial, on the west corner stands a small temple in which the grain measure was retained. Sundial and grain measures are symbols of morality and justice. Surrounding the hall 18 bronze incense burners, representing China’s 18 provinces at the time; 308 tubs of water around the palace has been used to protect it from fire.
Hall of Supreme Harmony is 35 meters, 60 meters wide and 33 meters on both sides. Currently, the largest, most well-preserved wooden hall in China. Twenty-four pillars supporting the roof, the central six gilded and painted designs of dragons, and the rest are painted red. throne of the emperor, surrounded by treasures of art symbolic value, is in the middle of the hall. Above the throne of gold painted caisson, or coffered ceiling, with dragon designs, from which hangs a pearl is called atmospheric Xuanyuan mirror. This gem was supposed to be able to distinguish right from wrong. The warlord Yuan Shikai was afraid that the jewel in the caisson could fall and hit him, he ordered the throne moved back a little. That’s why you see the throne is not directly under the caisson.
This hall was used for large ceremonies, as well as celebrating the winter solstice, the publication of the list of successful candidates in imperial examinations, Emperor’s Birthday and enthronement.
Imagine a majestic and amazing scenes in the past. When the emperor was sitting on the throne, the ministers and all their subordinates will kneel, bow, and repeat aloud, “Long Live Your Majesty”, with incense burning and curled up in the room, and bells and drums beating in unison in the corridor.
Each of the 24 pillars supporting the hall was made from one piece of wood, about 18 meters. Moreover, it took 136 days to bake the tiles before they were immersed in tung oil for another 49 days to be polished.
To maintain the palace during the Qing Dynasty, 280,000 taels of silver were needed each year. They came from taxes and rents of the royal estate. During the Ming Dynasty, 9000, ladies in waiting and 100.000 eunuchs served here. Some eunuchs as Wei Zhongxian in the Ming Dynasty and Li Lianying in the Qing Dynasty became even more powerful than the emperor.

Forbidden City – Hall of harmony

This hall was built in 1420 and renovated in 1627 and again 1765. It is square in shape, with windows on all sides. It is the smallest room among the “big three” in the outer court.
Emperors came here once a year to perform rituals, as the study of seed for sowing, to rest before dressing up for the main ceremony in the Hall of Supreme Harmony to get ministers and welcomed the foreign ambassadors, or to deliver speeches to the royal family. The main function room to provide the Emperor with a place for rehearsals, before he entered the Hall of Supreme Harmony for important ceremonies.
In the center of the hall stands a throne, with two sedan-chairs on display from both sides. One to the east was made in the late Ming Dynasty, and one to the west in the early Qing Dynasty. There are many types of sedan-chairs in China, but one that is used exclusively for the emperor is always carried out for 8 people.

Forbidden City – Hall of preserving harmony

This hall was the last Hall forecourt, similar in style, but slightly smaller than the Hall of Supreme Harmony. It was built in 1420, rebuilt in 1625 and renovated in 1765.
In 1789, Hall became the site of the Palace Examinations “, high level national system of imperial examinations. There are four levels of examinations, namely: the county level, provincial level, national level and palace examinations. Those who survived the palace exam will receive the title “doctor” (Jin Shi), and their status and wealth were unsure.
This survey system began in the Han Dynasty and suspended time and again, and finally abolished in 1904. In 1898, Capital University (Beijing University) was founded and about the same time, China has sent students to study in foreign countries like Japan and France. In 1911, Qing Hua University, a famous university, both at home and abroad has also been established. Thus, modern Chinese education began.
The original throne in the center, surrounded by several beautiful bronze. This hall was the most decorative of all the halls, and the Great Imperial banquets were held here.

Forbidden City – Stone Carving

The Forbidden City was the imperial palaces of the Ming and Qing dynasties, known as the Palace Museum. Consitruction took 14 years and was completed in 1420. In subsequent years, capotal Ming Dynasty was moved from Nanjing to Beijing. Twenty-four emperors of the Ming and 14 in 10 in the Qing Dynasty to rule here. The last dynasty fell in 1911, but the Emperor Pu Yi was still living in the courtyard until 1924, when he was banished from the palace of the troops of General Feng Yuxiang. After that, the palace was opened to the public as the Palace Museum and it was no longer prohibited from ordinary people.

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