china edition


Forbidden City - Palace of Earthly Peace

The Palace of Earthly Peace (KunNingGong), was first built in 1420. It was rebuilt in 1655, this time as a copy of QingNingGong (Hall of Peace and Tranquility) in ShenYang (LiaoNing province). It is the only Manchurian style architecture in the Forbidden City and has its gate on the eastern side rather than in the middle. It was renovated in 1798. It is 9 bays wide and 3 bays deep with double eaves.

Palace of Earthly PeaceThis hall was the residence of the empress during the Ming and Qing dynasties. However, during the Qing dynasty, the bridal emperor and empress only lived in the East Warmth Chamber of this palace for a few days. Later the emperor moved to the Hall of Mental Cultivation and the empress moved to another palace.

The emperor's bridal chamber in the East Warmth Chamber was painted red and lanterns were painted with red Double Happiness characters. In fact, nearly everything there was red!

The delicate and exquisitely embroidered bed curtain and quilt both feature a hundred playing children. The emperors all hoped for plenty of children to show the imperial family's prosperity. However, the last emperor, Puyi, did not like the wedding chamber and expressed his discontent in his famous autobiography 'From Emperor to Citizen'.

In the West Warmth Chamber, a sacrifice would be held every day. On important occasions, emperors and empresses would preside over the ceremonies themselves.

Behind the palace is the Gate of Terrestrial Tranquility (KunNingMen), with the imperial doctors' duty room, dispensary and eunuchs duty room to the sides.