PEOPLE'S CULTURAL PALACE
AND THE FORBIDDEN CITY OF BEIJING
In ancient China, only privileged people had the opportunity of entering the Emperor's Palace. For "ordinary persons", the royal estate and the governmental area were
has only been in recent years that foreign visitors have had the opportunity
of seeing what life at court here was like. In recent years, thousands
of highly skilled craftsmen have completed detailed and authentic restoration
of China's great legacy.
palatial compound comprises a rectangular area of approximately 720,000
square meters, surrounded by a moat and a wall, which still partly exists.
Within these boundaries, a total of 80 halls and palaces are symmetrically
arranged amid far-flung gardens.
third Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Yong Le, decided to build his seat
of government in the north of the empire (the meaning of Beijing is
"Northern Capital"), and in the early part of the 15th century began
building the "City within the City". From 1406, 24 Emperors of the Ming
and Quin Dynasties were to live and rule from this imperial estate -
until the end of the monarchy in 1911.
the republican revolution, the palatial grounds were opened to the public,
section by section, and today the Forbidden City serves as a venue for
major events as well as housing museums and exhibition quarters.
site for this Turandot production used to be known as The Palace
of Heavenly Purity - today it is called the "People's Cultural Palace".
The original palace was built here in 1406. Since then, fires claimed
the original structure - the current building dates from 1798. The old
palace housed the Emperor's bedroom, but later the rooms were used for
royal audiences - foreign ambassadors were received here, attended on
occasion also by the Empress.
last royal ceremony to take place here was the wedding of the last Chinese
Emperor Pu Yi, in December 1924.
front facade of the palace was incorporated in the sets of this Turandot
production. Red and yellow (imperial colors reserved exclusively for
the Emperor) dominated the scene.