Luxury masterpieces exclusively for Chinese kings
In feudal China, each emperor was a “son of heaven” – the son of Heaven, so the imperial and imperial calendars were served in the most luxurious life. And it is the Forbidden City – the emperor’s residence that best proves that. With a total area of 720.000 m2 containing 9.999 large and small rooms, every detail from large to small of the Forbidden City is sparkling and luxurious by rare materials such as precious stones, celadon tiles, precious wood, etc. .
In particular, most of the roofs are covered with yellow lapis lazuli – the most noble color, reserved for emperors according to Chinese concept. In addition, the Forbidden City also holds more than 1.000.000 antiques and treasures from feudal dynasties. Therefore, the Chinese government always strengthens security to protect this invaluable asset.
Where is the “palace” located?
Surely we are all too familiar with the word “palace” through Chinese historical dramas. It is said: “closer to the king is close to the tiger”, that’s why anyone, from the queen to the concubines, when disobeying the emperor’s wishes often suffers imprisonment in the “palace”.
So where is this famous “palace” in the Forbidden City? Actually, according to historical records, there is no particular place named “palace”. Some places used to imprison concubines were convicted: Qianxi Palace (Ming Dynasty) and Northern Tam So (Thanh Dynasty),…
There are similarities with the architecture of Dai Viet in the past
We can explain this because the eunuch Nguyen An – who drew the design for the Forbidden City is a Vietnamese, it is not surprising that this work contains the imprints of Dai Viet architectural style. According to the research of Prof. Tran Ngoc Them has two main features of the Forbidden City that are quite similar to ancient Vietnamese architecture. Firstly, the shape of the Forbidden City is rectangular (while other ancient capitals are mainly square).
Second, like the Co Loa citadel in the An Duong Vuong period, the Forbidden City was protected by three layers of walls (and other buildings in China before that usually only had one or two walls). The unique feature of the Forbidden City is the deliberate arrangement of certain feng shui meanings in every smallest detail.
Built from hundreds of tons of stone blocks
The Forbidden City is located in the center of Beijing, the capital of China. Construction began in 1406, it took 14 years to complete. From 1420 to 1911, it was the center of power for the Chinese courts.
The Forbidden City was built for more than 14 years, Tu Cam Thanh was a lavish work soaked in sweat and effort of countless people at that time. They used spoked wheels to transport huge blocks of stone weighing 200-300 tons and 9,5 meters long from the quarry 70 km away to Beijing citadel. Each such block of stone requires 50 healthy men to transport continuously for 28 days. It is the efforts and money of the people that have created such a great complex just for the purpose of serving the 24 emperors of China.
Designed by a Vietnamese
This majestic and magnificent architectural complex, which every Chinese person is proud to consider as the most miraculous work in the world, is actually an architectural work with a very important contribution from a Chinese eunuch. Vietnamese name is Nguyen An. As we all know, during the Ho Dynasty, the Ming army invaded Dai Viet and arrested many young people from our country back to China. It was at that time that Nguyen An (1381 – 1453) was arrested as a eunuch to serve the Ming imperial palace at that time.
When Minh Thanh To – Chu De decided to start the construction of a great project comparable to Heaven and Earth, it was the eunuch Nguyen An who was assigned the important task by the emperor, which was the “general manager” for the whole country. The Forbidden City project. According to many historical records, Nguyen An was an outstanding talented architect and it was he who drew the design for this magnificent work. Therefore, his beautiful name is still handed down to this day along with the majestic existence of the Forbidden City throughout the changes of time and history.
Ghosts exist in the Forbidden City today
The vast society in the Forbidden City has always had constant struggles for power, favor and bloody intrigues from the concubines, eunuchs, and palace maids here. So many people have died unjustly from the cruel wars in this inner palace. Therefore, it is not surprising that this place always circulates endless stories of ghosts, often appearing in the palace at sunset. There are many records of witnessing ghosts in the Forbidden City in the evening such as:
- Two soldiers guarding the Forbidden City were coerced by a faceless palace maid one afternoon in 1995.
- Many tourists witnessed images of eunuchs and palace maids passing by them.
- Sounds like a ghostly lute emanating from the palace on the occasion of the full moon.
With the strong belief of the people living around the Forbidden City about ghosts, whenever night falls on this ancient city, strange stories continue to appear…
Selling dumplings in the Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is a sacred place and only for the emperor and royal family to live. Any junta that breaks into the forbidden palace without an order will be subject to the death penalty. Even this place was extremely strictly defended with layers of forbidden guards and thick walls surrounding it. The fact that an ordinary citizen wants to set foot here is just a distant dream. However, there are exceptions to everything.
In 1851, during the reign of King Ham Phong of the Qing Dynasty, a dumpling seller named Vuong Kho Nhi accidentally picked up a card to enter the palace. After experimenting with the card a few times without any difficulty, the surname Wang boldly came up with the idea of bringing his dumpling stall to the palace for sale. Strangely, he was still at peace and made a lot of money selling dumplings 10 times the market price to the eunuchs in the palace. However, after bragging to a drunken cousin, Wang’s secret was discovered and he was arrested by the guard before he had time to escape to Beijing.