Initially, in 1407, China under the reign of Emperor Zhu Di of Ming Dynasty, Forbidden City began to be constructed. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, Forbidden City was continually restored and expanded, especially in the reigns of Emperor Jia Jing of Ming Dynasty and Emperor Qian Long of Qing Dynasty, Forbidden City was largely re-established and re-preserved, finally formed the architectural scale of Forbidden City today. Fobidden City is the most outstanding representative of Chinese ancient palace architecture. From it, you can feel the rich history and culture of China over the past 5000 years. The establishment of Forbidden City experienced four terms since 1406 when Emperor Zhu Di ordered to build the imperial palaces.
1. The Initial Time of Forbidden City. At this time, according to the need of establishment of Downtown Beijing, the whole old town of Yuan dynasty was southwardly moved and the building of the city wall of Beijing was completed, so it ensured the location and scale of the palaces. Due to the learning of Forbidden City establishment from Middle Capital of Ming Dynasty in Fengyang, and palaces of Nanjing, it whole layout was more thorough. The palace town was divided into administration zone and living zone from the north to south, and the axes from south to north made whole town in symmetry. Three avenues were paralleled and six palaces both in east and west sides surrounded it. The entire layout is followed by the royal city description of Zhou Li, which is an ancient book to tell the rites and regulations of society and human. Currently, the Forbidden City basically preserves the plane layout of its original look.
2. The Finish Time of Forbidden City. This term was comprised of Zhengtong, Jingtai and Tianshun three periods in the different regins of Emperors in Ming Dynasty. This term was the stable and peak time of Ming Dynasty. The government had sufficient treasure and materials to finish the temples, memorials and royals buildings. The restoration of five grand palaces of Forbidden City was finished at the same time. After the enthronement of Emperor Zhu Qizhen, the first thing he did was to restored Forbidden City and spent 10 years for its completion
3. The Enlargement Time of Forbidden City. As the development of economy, Ming Dynasty became more and more powerful. Near to Forbidden City, a prosperous business zone was gradually formed. In 1544, three palaces establishment were written in annual governmental schedule. In history, Ming Dynasty suffered most fire disasters. In 1557, a fire destroyed three palaces and fifteen gates of Forbidden City, the restoration job had to be done until 1562, during this time, the restoration plan was stopped for a long time due to the reestablishment of Longevity Palace.
4. The Declining Time of Ming Dynasty. At this time, government could not go on the large-scale building. But many restoration jobs were also done.
Writer: David from Seeraa International
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