The Meridian Gate - Forbidden City Introduction - Beijing Destination Guide
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The Meridian Gate

The Meridian GateThe Meridian Gate is the southern entrance of the Purple Forbidden City. This massive Gate, consisting of five openings, is shaped like a huge upside-down English capital letter "U" . It is the largest gate of the Forbidden City, 35.6 metres high and surmounted by five pavilions. The central pavilion is rectangular in shape, while the other four, two on each side, are square, henee the nickname "the Five Phoenix Tower".

The Meridian Gate was so named because the Chinese emperors believed that they lived in the center of the universe, and the Meridian Line went through the Forbidden city.

The Meridian GateThe 14 emperors of the Ming and 10 emperors of the Qing dynasties ruled China with an absolute authority which probably has no equivalent in human history. However, except for the room which the emperor would choose to stay for the night to avoid possible assassins, they had very little privacy. When they went to the Temple of Heaven, bells in the west pavilion were struck. When they went to the Ancestral Temple, drums in the eastern pavilion were beaten. Modern day VIPS simply follow suit-sirens and motorcycles in front, a long fleet of cars behind.

"Why were there five openings?", simply because people of different classes or social statues shouldn't walk in through the same opening. The central opening was reserved for the emperor alone, the empress was entitled to go through the opening once-on her Wedding Day:

The first three successful candidates in the imperial examination could enter the opening once, too, when they were to be received by the emperor. The east opening was for the Ministers while the west opening was for the royal family. The other openings were for petty officials. Ordinary people were forbidden to enter the city. Today, only two openings are ready for visitors, the one for the emperors and the one for the Ministers.

Click here to see the map of Forbidden City

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About the Forbidden City

-- Hall and the Courtyard of Supereme Harmony
-- Meridian Gate
-- Hall of Supreme Harmony
-- Hall of Complete Harmony
-- Hall of Preserving Harmony
-- Huge Stone Carving
-- Hall of Clocks and Watches
-- Treasure Hall
-- Hall of Mental Cultivation

-- Six Western Palaces
-- Six Eastern Palaces
-- Palace of Heavenly Purity
-- Hall of Union
-- Palace of Earthly Tranquility
-- Imperial Garden
-- Nine Dragon Screen
-- Mysteries of the Palace Roofs
-- The Legend of Wacth Towers

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Beijing Forbidden City Tours

Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace Small Group TourCool --- from US$35
Classic City Bus Tour, visit Beijing's highlight attractions to touch the face of the metropolitan city on this one-day tour. Departure: daily.

Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City & Tiananmen Square Small Group Tour --- from US$29
Not have much leisure time, but eager to catch the highlights of Beijing, join this, enjoy the three most popular scenic spots in a one-day bus tour. Departure: daily.

2-Day Beijing Group Tour Package A --- from US$70
1 day Badaling Great Wall & Ming tombs group tour.
1 day Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace group tour.
Enjoy 2 Chinese lunches on the tour.
Enjoy comfortable air-conditioned coach.
Daily Departure Small Group Tours.
Enjoy Airport Private Transfer Service

2-Day Beijing Group Tour Package B --- from US$74
1 day Mutianyu Great Wall and Underground Palace (Dingling)small group tour.
1 day Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace group tour.
Enjoy 2 Chinese lunches on the tour.
Enjoy comfortable air-conditioned coach.
Daily Departure Small Group Tours.
Enjoy Airport Private Transfer Service

4-Day Beijing King Parkview Hotel Small Group Tour Package --- from US$159
Pick up from airport to hotel, join 2-day Beijing Badaling Great Wall & Forbidden City Coach Tour & Including 3-night Beijing King Parkview Hotel(3 star, located in Wangfujing) accommodation & Pick up from hotel to the airport.

4-Day Beijing Dongfang Hotel Small Group Tour Package --- from US$170
Pick up from airport to hotel, join 2-day Beijing Badaling Great Wall & Forbidden City Coach Tour & Including 3-night Beijing Dongfang Hotel (4 star, including breakfast) accommodation, then pick up from hotel to the airport.

4-Day Jinqiao International Garden Apartment Beijing Coach Tour Package --- from US$199
Pick up from airport to hotel, join 2-day Beijing Badaling Great Wall & Forbidden City Coach Tour & Including 3-night Jinqiao International Garden Apartment accommodation including breakfast & Pick up from hotel to the airport.

Beijing to Tianjin Cruise Home Port 4-Day Group Tour Package including Jinqiao International Garden Apartment Accommodation --- from US$257
Pick up from Beijing airport, stay in Jinqiao International Garden Apartment (4 star hotel service apartment, near Jianguomen/Beijing Railway Station area) 3 nights and 2-day Beijing Badaling Great Wall & Forbidden City Coach Tour, then transfer to Tianjin International Cruise Home Port (now replacing the former Xingang Port) in Tianjin.

Beijing to Tianjin Cruise Home Port 4-Day Group Tour Package including Wangfujing Grand Hotel Accommodation --- from US$260
Pick up from Beijing airport, stay in Beijing Wangfujing Grand Hotel (5 star deluxe hotel located in Wangfujing Area) 3 nights and 2-day Beijing Badaling Great Wall & Forbidden City Coach Tour, then transfer to Tianjin International Cruise Home Port ( now replacing the former Xingang Port) in Tianjin.

4-Day Crowne Plaza Beijing Wangfujing Small Group Tour Package --- from US$310
Pick up from airport to hotel, join 2-day Beijing Badaling Great Wall & Forbidden City Coach Tour & Including 3-night Crowne Plaza Beijing Wangfujing (5 star, including breakfast) accommodation, then pick up from hotel to the airport.

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