Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang with their grand palatial architecture represent the Chinese civilisation at the time of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The Imperial Palace of the Ming Dynasty lies in Beijing, and is now commonly known as the Forbidden City because the general public had no access to it. When the capital of the Ming Empire was moved to Beijing in 1421, the emperors took up residence in the Imperial Palace. It was not meant to be a home for a mortal king but for the Son of Heaven. The exact, grid-like geometric pattern of the complex reflects the strongly hierarchical structural of imperial Chinese society.

The Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty in Shenyang is a smaller complex dating from the 17th century. Its architecture shows Manchurian influences.

Map of Imperial Palace

Els

Visit March 2004

The Forbidden City is a huge complex at the center of Beijing (behind the Tiananmen gate), that nowadays attracts thousands of visitors every day. I entered from the North, so I was met with innumerable (mainly Chinese) groups that had started from the main entrance in the South.

March 2004

The funny thing is that everybody clings to the main path (the North-South axis), and that 10 meters to the right or left you're almost on your own.

March 2004

The complex is surely meant to impress: everything is just huge. You have to take your time to find and look at the details. What I liked most where its simple but effective colours: bright red walls, with green and yellow accents in the tiles.

March 2004

Community Reviews

Write a review


Clyde

Malta - 27-Oct-13 -

Imperial Palace by Clyde

I visited this WHS in October 2013. First I visited Tiananmen Tower, then I proceeded to the Forbidden City proper. The different halls are beautiful and the whole place is amazingly huge. Crowds of tourists and locals visit, yet if you walk just a few steps from the centre path of this site you can still enjoy it at your own pace. The seven bridges are intricately carved and the palace reflecting in the water was the highlight of my visit. I also liked the colorful pavilions in the park just opposite the exit of the imperial palace.


Kyle Magnuson

California - United States of America - 28-Dec-11 -

Imperial Palace by Kyle Magnuson

I visited the Imperial Palace in Beijing twice. Once in 2006 and once in 2007. A true exploration of the site runs about half a day. It is worthwile to explore the side sections of the palace. Each side passage or courtyard reveals something new and is quite interesting to search in depth. Moreover, large restored sections of the palace are being opened every couple years. Suprisingly, vast sections of the palace are still closed and are scheduled to be revealed to the public in the not too distant future. Try not to visit the palace in the summer or weekend if possible as it gets clogged with people (literally).

The tile panels are certainly a highlight, and side alleys have a more personal atmosphere that you don't find walking near or around the central axis. I prefer weekday mornings, if you are lucky with the smog, the pictures can be incredible.

Imperial Palace (4)

Read more from Kyle Magnuson here.


Ian Cade

UK - 02-Nov-11 -

Imperial Palace by Ian Cade

I must admit I wasn't especially looking forward to this visit; it had more of a feeling of something I should do rather than wanted to do. However after a few hours of strolling around the Forbidden City I was happy that I had seen it and ducking off to the sides could make it a surprisingly quiet experience even on a weekend afternoon.

The sheer size of the first part of the palace is what really grabs you, as Ben has stated below it takes a massive site to be able to swallow these large crowds and it certainly did that, it would be odd to see such large spaces with only a small amount of people in them. The main temples and pavilions really were impressive and I spent a fair bit of time just taking in their wonderful architecture and paintings.

After the grand ceremonial buildings at the front the rear of the palace is a series of interlocking courtyards and private palace quarters which were reasonably interesting, however the crowds felt a little denser here and I started to wane a little so decided to head on out before palace fatigue really set in.

I enjoyed my visit here more than I thought I would and the grand ceremonial parts of the complex allow you to get a sense of the awesome scale of the place as well as a chance to escape the crowds.

[Site 7: Experience 7]


Boj

Philippines & China - 16-Nov-10 -

Imperial Palace by Boj

The Shenyang Imperial Palace may not be as grand as its Beijing counterpart; however, what makes up for its size is the intricate design of the buildings. The Manchu style of architecture is not like any other seen in most temples or buildings in China.

I stayed in Shenyang for two days and got to visit the other two Qing dynasty tombs in the city - Zhaoling and Fuling.


Rajeev Aloysius

Sri Lanka - 21-Oct-05 -

I took an entire day to visit the Imperial Palace in Beijing, popularly known as The Forbidden City. It is a central enclave facing Tiananmen Square. I first walked the South - North axis, and then returned to see the Seven Dragons Wall, Archery Pavilion, East Palaces and West Palaces in the Imperial Gardens. The scale and the artistry, as well as the strange names of the pavilions, halls, gardens and monuments were fascinating.


Kang Chong

Malaysia - 01-Oct-05 -

I went this Palace in a tour group. Due to time constraints, we were made to walk from the "Wu Men" (front) all the way to the back. One straight path passing all the main palaces. Do not forget to visit some of the palaces at sides. These are hidden treasures with less tourists and more intrigue. Certain smaller palaces even house artefacts etc. Also, do not forget to climb the hill "Jing Shan" (create from the earth excavated from the construction of the palace) at the back of the palace compounds. This will offer you a breathtaking view of the whole palace compound. Definitely worthwhile spending more time exploring the entire compound!!!


Ben Pastore

USA - 07-Jun-05 -

Only the Forbidden City could host so many throngs of tourists and still seem huge. The open areas are truly impressive and the famous landmarks are even better in real life. It is another one of those "If I'm here, I have to see it" places and a worthy entrant on the World Heritage List


C H Ho

Hong Kong, China -

The Forbidden City may be the largest palace in East Asia. However, many treasury are stored in the Imperial Palace Museum in Taiwan. The former government moved the treasury to Taiwan before turnover to Communists in 1949. Therefore, tourists visit the architechture of the palace mainly.


Rob Wilson

UK -

The Forbidden City is possibly the most packed tourist attraction I've ever visited. Thankfully, it is still well worth the visit.

The sheer scale and opulence of the place it quite astonishing.


Full Name
Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang
Unesco ID
439
Country
China
Inscribed
1987
Type
Cultural
Criteria
1 2 3 4
Categories
Secular structure - Palace
Link
By ID

The site has 2 locations

Imperial Palace: The Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing
Imperial Palace: The Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty in Shenyang

The site has

History
Trivia
WHS Hotspots

Community Members have visited.

AC AP-TW AYB Adam Hancock Adam@rainoff.com Adrian Alberto Rodriguez Gutierrez Alex Goh Shaw Peng Alex Pflugfelder Alexander Alexander Barabanov Alexander Lehmann Alexander Parsons Alfons and Riki Verstraeten Ali Zingstra Alias65 Alice AliciaLee711 Aloysius Boo Amohanty Amy chin Anders Burholm Angel Ying Liu Anna Wludarska Ansitong Antonio J. Artur Anuszewski Artworks Atila Ege Aurelien Drilant-Abenascad Bamse Bas Bauchat Ben Pastore Bergecn Berni Davis Bertrand Bin Bob Finnie Bob Parda Bob pateman Boj Bosswench Botev Bram de Bruin Brigitte Huber Buffy CH CalvinLoh Carlo Sarion Carlos Garrido Carolinerowe25 Catalina Belso Catherine Rankine Chalamphol Therakul Chen Shishan ChenMing Chenboada Chenqtao Cheryl Christine Swanson Christravelblog Chriswatson93@hotmail.co.uk Cindy Casey Claire Bradshaw Clem C Clyde Colossus Corbomite Corinne Vail Craig Harder Cyba DAB DL DOn Szumowski Daniela Hohmann Dave wood David Gang XU David Gee David Marton Dean Swift Deborah Rupp DeepB Dennis Nicklaus Dgjohansson Dimitar Krastev Donald M Parrish Jr Dotori Drk9Stormy ERIC ZHOU Edward Elena Elida Elisabeth Fransisca Situmorang Els Slots Enrico Cerrini Eric Lorentz Eric Lurio Eric PK Ericyin Erik Jelinek Eva Kisgyorgy F Robert FK Faizal Fan Yibo FedeCambo Fedekiwi Felicite Fairer-Wessels Fernando Liu Feudikbenson Filip Murlak Fkarpfinger Fool79 Frank Frederik Dawson Garrett Garyrjtaylor Ge zhang Geert Luiken George Evangelou George Gdanski George Yu Gernot Greg Greg Troy Guillaume Guo Jianying HE SHAOMIN Haining Guan Hamid Harald T. Heather Zhang Herunen Howard Howard Brayer Howe Siang Tan Hsuan Hao Yang Huang Wei Hugo Zou Hurrvinek Iain Jackson Ian Cade Irena Klementov J Mitchell Jack Jacob Choi Jacob Otten Jan Zimmermann Jarek Pokrzywnicki Jaroslav Klement Jason and Corrinna Javier Coro Jaynew Jean-Philippe Platroz Jean-Rene Berge Jeanne OGrady Jeff N. Jeffrey Chai Ran Jennifer Prout Jens Jiang Jiang Jiangliu bian Jianhui Song Joachim Nölte-Baumann Joanne Lee Joe Wang John Smaranda John Wang John booth Johnson Zhao Jon Bauer Jon Eshuijs Jonas Hagung Jonas Kremer Jonathan Zimmermann Jonathanfr Jordi Martinez Jos Baars Jos Schmitz Josef Mikus Joyce van Soest Judit Dalla Judith Tanner Juha Kokkonen Jun Jun Zhou KAO Kasienka5 Kasileigh Kasper Kenny Gam Kevin Knight Kevin McFarland Kevin Wang Khuft Kjlchiang Knomadc Koen Vliegenthart Krijn Ktisgodzilla Kutasp Kyle Magnuson Lale Eralp Turkey Lantian Laobada Lars Bogstad Lars-Petter ØdegÃ¥rd Le Yang Leenders-Caymax Lei Liu Leonie Geurts Lersan B Del Mundo Liam Liang Zhou Lisa Ross Liu tuo Liuhua Lorenzo Mejino Louis Lovinfosse@gmail.com Ludvan Luigi Tura Luke LOU MBennett MMM MaYumin Maciej Gowin Malgorzata Kopczynska Manuel Francis V Marek Mariaana Nelimarkka Mariam Marie Morlon Markus Marlies van Wolfswinkel Marry122 Martin Funkhauser Maryhattie Matt M Matthewsharris Mauro Martino Michael Cummings Michael Novins Michael Turtle Michael anak Kenyalang Michal Kozok Michal Marciniak Michelle.has.murphy Miguel Marchi Mikael Bjork Mikael Zhang Mike Harper Mikko Miles Hu Miloš Tašković Miriam laschever Monica Tasciotti Monika and Rini Morodhi Myra Lynn Gilig Naim yunus Nan Nathaniel Chin Naveed Panjwani Nej153 Nevin Salman Ng Tsu Jin Nicole Kilian Nicole P Nihal Ege Ning,xiaozhou Ninifishes Nmocosta Olilan PJ Pablo Tierno PabloNorte Pamela MacNaughtan Pang Liang Fong Pascal Cauliez Patphilly Patrick C. Venenoso Patty Verhoeven Paul Hilder Paul Schofield Peter Alleblas Peter Day Peter Loov Peter Pang PeterH Petteri Philip T.K. Philipp Peterer Phyllis Tsoi Pieter Dijkshoorn Pingxian Xu Piotr Piotr Sebastian Sikon Piotrurbanski Plutomu Pppppeti Qin Xie Qqalexqq Ralf Regele Randel Wang Randi Thomsen Reza Rjgry Rob Wilson Roberta MacRae Robin F. Rocky Roger Ourset Roger Wall Rogerlee Roman Koeln Roych Rswood Ryan Oliver Ryan watkins RyanMak S. Anril Tiatco SL Liew Sabariah Sachin Sam Mason Saxondean Secilie Kui Sergio Arjona Seudy Shaka_schulz Sharon Sharon Cheung Shaun Ankers Shijie ZHU Shyeen Sibariam Sidburr Silverlining Sim CY Simone Cannon de Bastardo Solivagant Squiffy Stanimir Stanislaw Warwas SteO153 Stephen Brooker Steve Newcomer Stewart Findlay Sun_jianyuan@me.com Super-Sophie Susan Stair Suzanne Svein Heltberg Szucs Tamas TAN TIANG SOON Tamara Ratz Tamasin Sutton Tatiana Nikulnikova Ted Barnett Teresa J. Wilkin The Salmons Theresa Goh Thomas Buechler Thomas cahalan Tianxiang Yang Timothy C Easton Tingsukhua Tjagmax Tkinou Tom Wong Tonioto Tony0001 Topaas Trevni Truls Brekke Van Hung Vanessa Buechler Vernon Prieto Vicente B. Avanzado Jr. Violeta Vitthaya suthivannarat Voyager Wang Qin Wang zhong Watkinstravel Werner Huber Wj1997yi Wolfgang Hlousa Wolfgang Sander WolfgangHl Wouter Xiao Zehuan Xiong Wei Xiquinho Silva YAO WEI Yang Chengyu Yangtingkun Yellowjohn Yi Han Goh ZX You Zhang xiaozhong Zhao, hui Zhenjun Liu Zhou Cheng Zhou Yan Zizmondka Zos M Zoë Sheng