China Fact #15
In the early 1400's, the third Ming Emperor "Yongle" moved the capital of China to Beijing. In 1406 he began construction on his new capital. The Capital consisted of three main sections: The Forbidden City, which contained the Imperial Palace complex; The Imperial City, which was home to the government officials; and the Outer City which was south of the Imperial City and is where the rest of the people lived. The Forbidden City of China is also known as two other names – the Imperial Palace Museum and Gugong, although the Imperial Palace is an entity of the City. Both the Ming and Qing Dynasties carried out their administrative duties and lived within the walls of this incredible City.
The Forbidden City, ( so named because common people were forbidden to enter ) was indeed a city. Over 800 buildings containing 8,886 rooms, and covering 250 acres. The entire complex is surrounded by a 32 foot high wall which is protected by a 165 foot wide drainage ditch forming a mote. The city is only accessible by entering through one of four gates which span the water.