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Forbidden City Beijing, also called Imperial Palace Museum, is located in the very heart of Beijing. It remained the residence of the emperors for nearly five hundred years, from the 15th century to the early 20th century, and was the actual and symbolic seat of imperial power. Popularly known as the Forbidden City, it was built in the Ming Dynasty between the 4th and the 18th years of the Yongle period (1406 - 1420 AD). Many of the buildings of the Palace have been repaired and rebuilt, but their basic form and layout remain in their original state.
Forbidden City can be taken as a sample of the traditional Chinese palatial architecture. In 1987, it became a World Heritage Site. Besides, it is also listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
This magnificent, palatial architectural complex covers an area of over 2,350,000 square feet and contains 9,999 rooms. The largest complex of its kind in the world, it is surrounded by ten-foot-high walls that are crowned by four observation towers and flanked by a deep moat. The walls are pierced by four large gates, each with three openings and a broad crowning pavilion.