page The Forbidden City
Also known as the Imperial City, this massive and majestic walled "city" is where China's royalty once lived and ruled. Tiananmen Gate, or the Gate of Heavenly Peace, is the outer (but not the main) entrance to the Forbidden City. Twenty-four emperors--as well as their empresses, concubines, children, courtiers, etc.--lived in the Forbidden City until 1911, when China's long dynasty was forced to end.
Walking just a quarter of the Forbidden City can take hours, but the tour is worth it just to see the roofs of the halls sparkle like gold shavings in the sun and to see the well-preserved rooms filled with treasures and embroidered silk. Intricate stone carvings, once-gold water pots, and intimate gardens also hint at the eminence radiating within the Forbidden City.
Photo Credit: Sherry Huang