The Forbidden City

Fun Facts about The Forbidden City: 10 Things You didn’t Know

In the “four nine city (four gates of the Imperial City, the inner city of the nine gates of the general pronouns)”, stands a brilliant and huge “courtyard”, people usually call it the “Forbidden City”, The Forbidden City”, and so on. The construction of the Forbidden City was ordered by Zhu Di, the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty, and began in the fourth year of the Yongle era (1406), with construction beginning in 1417 and completed in 1420.

But not many people know the interesting facts of the Forbidden City, the following piece of the Forbidden City to understand the hidden 10 interesting facts about it!

1. Crotch-covering lion on the broken rainbow bridge

This lion is really more famous! Because of its peculiar shape, even scratching the head scratching the cheeks, teeth grinning to look like a painful expression, and the most prominent is that it has a hand is still grasping their own crotch.

Crotch-covering lion

Is not feel very strange it? This is completely incompatible with the overall style of the Forbidden City, “hip-hop” style is also a bit unseemly. This little lion standing in a stone bridge called “broken rainbow bridge”, the bridge is located in the Forbidden City outside the Gate of Taihe, Wuying Hall East, a single volume of stone bridge, the bridge crosses the Jinshui River above. About the origin of this bridge, it is presumed that the basic was built before the Ming Dynasty, for the Yuan Dynasty Palace is a stone bridge in front of the door. The word “Broken Rainbow” goes well with this bridge, which is like a broken rainbow.

broken rainbow bridge

Legend has it that, when Emperor Daoguang wanted to train his eldest son Yiwei as successor, but Yiwei is uneducated, do not listen to teaching, once even face to face master. Daoguang heard, called Yi Wei, angry kick in its crotch, not a few days, Yi Wei died. Later, Daoguang regretted it to the core. So every time when passing the broken rainbow bridge, see this lion will think of their own son, think of sadness, so ordered eunuchs with red cloth to cover the lion.

Of course, this is just a legend ……

2. Nine Dragon Wall on the wooden dragon belly

Nine Dragon Wall is located in front of the Imperial Palace, is a must-see place for almost every visitor to the Forbidden City. The Nine Dragons Wall is made of complex glasswork firing, and each dragon is assembled from many glass components. But in the Nine Dragon Wall from the east counting the third white dragon’s body, but there is a piece of components are not glass fired, but wood carved from, can you see it?

On the Nine Dragons Wall, the darker colored piece is the backfilled wooden belly

Why is this? Did the craftsmen at that time try to cut corners? Of course not! You have to know that the cost of wood carving is much higher than glass firing.

The fact is that, in the construction of the Nine Dragon Wall, because the firing process is too complex, there is a piece of the components were burned. But the upper part of the schedule will be close, and then go to re-fire has been too late, how can we do it?

Nine Dragons Wall

Many craftsmen like ants on the hot pot, anxious round and round. Suddenly a craftsman thought, if the wood carved, and then coated with white paint can not be fake?

So the craftsmen looked for a master carpenter, with good nanmu, overnight carved this piece of wood dragon belly, and brush good white paint spelled out in the white dragon body. You don’t say, after the good really can’t see, and this piece of wood dragon belly also make many craftsmen to avoid a killing.

Although the wooden dragon belly at that time fooled the acceptance of the officials, but can not fool the passage of time, after hundreds of years, the white paint on the wood has long been off, but also let everyone see this unusual dragon belly.

In ancient times, in order to do projects for the emperor, craftsmen from time to time to play their various counterintuitive wisdom, of course, do not want to play also line, but from time to time to risk the risk of being clicked Oh!

3. The ceremonial pier on the plaza of the Hall of Supreme Harmony

In the north of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, is a huge square in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, an area of 30,000 square meters. And in the square ground, left and right each have a line of small square brick, neatly arranged on the ground, was “eight” shape has been extended to the door of Taihe. Have you ever wondered what it is for?

Square in front of Taihe Hall

This white small square brick is called “ceremonial pier”. In ancient times, the emperor out of the palace or held a big dynasty, that can not be a person sneaking, sneaking out, and for the display of imperial power, there must be a set of called “law driving halogen book” of the ceremonial procession.

White tiles on the square

The team held a flag, tokens, rituals and other things, majestic; there are also people holding the emperor to use the chair, urinal and so on, is also a dignified. (After all, the emperor is also a person, always have to eat, drink and sleep it) and these people stand on these small square, a square stand a person, similar to our childhood teacher with white chalk drawing a small white dot.

4. The arrow on the plaque at the Longzongmen Gate

Longzongmen is a door to the west of the Palace of Harmony, is the first three halls and the back of the three palaces to the Cining Palace of the important channel.

Arrows on the plaque

However, in such an important door, but inserted a 1813 arrow!

Who is so bold? Dare to shoot arrows here?

It turns out that in 1813 there was such a thing–

After the Kangxi and Qianlong Dynasties, the Qing Dynasty was like an over-exerted long-distance runner. Although it was still running hard, it was already at the end of its strength.

In the 18th year of the Jiaqing period, that is, 1813, a large-scale uprising of the Tianli religion broke out. Rebellion is not a new thing in every dynasty, it is just a general event. But this uprising is quite fierce, very unusual, even drove into the Forbidden City near the Longzongmen.

Longzongmen geographic location is very important! After this gate is the three great halls and the back three palaces, you can directly hit the bed of the Jiaqing Emperor, Tianli sect rebels see the victory is in sight, fighting aggressively. The Qing Dynasty also knew the importance of Longzong Gate and gathered a large number of troops to defend the city. Both sides set out to play for their lives, and after a fight, the Qing army was victorious.

Afterwards, the Qing army cleaned up the battlefield found that there is an arrow shot in the Longzongmen plaque, but the Jiaqing Emperor did not let people remove, but will be retained as a warning, always reminding themselves not to forget that the world there are all kinds of bulls want to rob him of this position.

5. The knife marks on the water tank in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony

Almost every hall in the Forbidden City in front of a few huge tanks, we all know that this is in order to put out the fire and prepare.

There are traces of being scratched by a knife on the vat.

These large tanks called “Taiping tank”, iron, copper, copper gilt, each tank has more than a thousand kilograms.

Taihe Temple in front of the four vats, if you look carefully, you will find that the cylinder above there is a road was scraped by the knife marks. This is when the Eight-Power Allied Forces invaded Beijing left the iron evidence!

At that time, a group of invaders gathered around the tank, took out the knife “click bared click bared” scrape gold, turn a golden vat into black. Immediately after a group of people pounced on another vat ……

6. Baohe Temple behind the cloud dragon stone carving

In the Forbidden City, every palace before and after the two sides, there are stone steps, in the middle of the steps is a slanting system of long stone, carved with dragons, phoenixes, seawater, river cliffs and other patterns, this thing is called “Edward”.

Stone sculpture with clouds and dragons

The Forbidden City has one of the largest Edward, it is well worth a look! This piece of Edward in the back of the Hall of Baohe, is carved from a block of stone, said to have been mined in Fangshan, weighing more than 300 tons, known as “Yunlong stone carving”.

More than 10,000 workers were mobilized to transport the stone, and the coldest day of the year was chosen. They use the method is – in Fangshan to Beijing on the road, every mile workers will cut a well, sprinkle water on the ground into ice, the use of ice to reduce friction, and then the boulder will be pulled to Beijing bit by bit.

Now, the wisdom of the Qing Dynasty workers has been against the sky!

7. Drooping lions in front of Qianqing Gate

The lions in the Forbidden City are formidable, each with ears erected and looking forward. But there are always exceptions, in front of the Qianqing Gate there are two “exceptions” to the lion!

These two gilt lions at first glance look no difference, look closely but found that their ears are like a pug like drooping … as a lion, but set up such a good boy cute shape, so really good?

In fact, the reason for this design, there is a historical reason. Qianqing Gate as a gateway to the three palaces after the placement of two drooping ears of the lion is to tell the concubines: should not listen to don’t blindly inquire, shouldn’t pipe don’t blindly ask.

Some things know as not heard, this is the way of life in the harem.

8. The stone box and stone pavilion in front of the Gate of Supreme Harmony

We enter the Forbidden City, generally can not wait to go through the gate, to see the majestic three halls and the Palace of the halls, but ignored the two things in front of the gate.

Stone Box and Stone Pavilion

In front of the Gate of Supreme Harmony, next to a pair of stone lions, there is a stone box and a stone pavilion, I do not know whether you have noticed.

What are they for?

Stone Box

It is said that the stone box on the left can really be opened, of course, if you invite a dozen people to make a concerted effort, and at the same time there is no security guard to drive you out of the case.

Historical records show that the stone box is filled with grains, red threads and gold, silver and Yuanbao, representing money, grain and cloth, which are some of the town objects.

Stone Pavilion

And the right side of this stone pavilion is called “imperial edict pavilion”, the emperor issued an imperial edict to be placed in this pavilion.

9. Gilt bronze dragon on the roof of the Yu Hua Pavilion

Emperors were called the real dragon son of heaven, and they were often accompanied by dragons throughout their lives. The Forbidden City is the most is about the dragon carving. Forbidden City experts have done a not quite complete statistics, the Forbidden City’s main building, the Hall of Supreme Harmony, inside and outside the dragon, dragon carving there are 13,844 as many.

Gilt bronze dragon

The Forbidden City is said to have more than 8600 palaces, only 6 dragons per palace calculation, there are 50,000 dragons, the fact that the number of course far more than this.

And in this space and time of the dragon, the gilt-bronze dragon at the top of the Yuhua Pavilion is particularly peculiar, it is 3 meters long, prostrate posture posture posture, it seems to just pause in the eaves, so it is known as the “running dragon”.

10. Tortoise and cranes in the Hall of Supreme Harmony

Into the Forbidden City, up the Hall of Supreme Harmony, everyone will first go to see the emperor to do that throne, in fact, there is nothing to see, far away from the big old, you can only look at the door.

In fact, the Hall of Supreme Harmony here is the most worthwhile to see a pair of bronze turtles standing in front of the temple, bronze cranes. Believe that many people have ignored them, but they are the Hall of Supreme Harmony here can best reflect the dreams of the emperors of things.

First of all, the copper crane, ancient people have a special worship for the crane, the crane represents a “immortal” wishes, we know a lot of Taoist and Buddhist texts, who became an immortal is generally driving a crane to fly up to the sky, driving a crane to the west.

In front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the emperors placed a crane, meaning that they hoped that they could become immortal and rule the empire for all eternity!

Bronze Crane

Behind the crane, there is a dragon head turtle, remember, this is a dragon head turtle! Not just any turtle. Turtle! It’s a symbol of longevity.

Bronze turtle

The bronze tortoise and the bronze crane, a powerful combination, symbolizing the eternal strength of the kingdom and the longevity of the people. Besides, this pair of tortoise and crane are empty! Why are they empty? Is not enough copper, the process can not be done, can only get a hollow?

Completely wrong, the reason why made empty, just one reason, inside to burn incense.

We know that the Hall of Supreme Harmony is held, such as the Emperor’s enthronement ceremony, the Empress, the promulgation of imperial edicts and other such major ceremonies only when used, when held this so-called great rituals, civil and military officials kneeling in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, and the Hall of Supreme Harmony would have been very high, this time, if the copper tortoise and the copper crane body incense burning, the aroma diffused out of the entire hall are covered in the aroma, think about it, is not very much like the sky in the heavenly palace covered in the The heavenly palace in the sky is covered with immortal air!

Trivial little place may hide a little secret unknown, a small history neglected or even forgotten by future generations, this is the real charm of the Forbidden City!

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