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Dongcheng, Beijing, China
  • Although it has several entrance gates, the best way for exploring this museum is from Tian-an-men gate (the main entrance) at the south point
  • The following is my experience based on three visits I made
  • The most interesting section is the Palace of Spiritual Nourishment used to be the resident for Emperor Qian Long


    • by Pusaka

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      The formal name of this place is the Palace Museum. It is located to the north of Tian-an-men square. Although it has several entrance gates, the best way for exploring this museum is from Tian-an-men gate (the main entrance) at the south point. To do this, you can use the subway and alight at Tian-an-men-dong station. Tian-an-men gate is only a few steps from there. This huge museum housing halls used to be royal reception and dining halls, residents for the emperor and royal family, their offices, study rooms, residents for concubines, imperial garden, etc.

      Right after paying the admission fee (last year was CNY 60 in summer and CNY 40 in winter), all visitors may walk anywhere within this museum without getting much information. Moreover it is normally very crowded at some points as there is no direction guide. The following is my experience based on three visits I made. Firstly, this museum is divided into two main parts, i.e. the official parts (the


      half southern part) and the private parts. Secondly, the private parts are further divided into three blocks, i.e. west, central, and east blocks. To the north of these three blocks, there is the imperial garden. If you want to explore all parts in detail, you need to spend about five to six hours. However, if your spare time is limited, you may want to know in advance about what you can expect in every section of this museum as described in the following.

      Official Part. This part is accessible from the main (south) gate. Within this area, there are three halls namely Supreme (the biggest), Middle (the smallest), and Preserved Harmony Halls. In each of which, there are a throne, pillars, lamps, some artworks and nothing more. You can take pictures only from outside of the main door of each hall, but entering to the halls is not permitted.

      Private Part.

      West Block. The most interesting section is the Palace of Spiritual Nourishment used to be ...


      • the resident for Emperor Qian Long. This palace has no open gate or window. The visitors can only observe the rooms inside through the glass windows. The furniture such as the throne, chairs, beds, and lamps are all original, and therefore they are discolored. The remaining sections of this block - housing some exhibition - are very similar one to another. If you are not interested in artworks, do not waste your time in this block.

        Central Block. There is Palace of Celestial Purity used to be the resident for Emperor Qian Long before moved to the Palace of Spiritual Nourishment. The surrounding buildings used to be palace’s offices and study rooms. Right now it is used as an ordinary museum with some royal collections. The functions of the other sections within this block are also arranged to be ordinary museums accommodating paintings, clothes, ceramic items, etc. I was soon fed up with the similarity among the buildings and the contents of each room.

        East Block.

        The most interesting section is the ex-residents for concubines as there are quite many buildings dedicated for them. This means that every emperor had a number of concubines. As in the Palace of Spiritual Nourishment, visitors can only explore the situation of each room through the glass window.

        The Imperial Garden is good with its rocky hill, longevity tree, etc, but this only “green spot” is shockingly very small compared to the whole area of the Forbidden City which has hardly any tree.

        In general, this museum is nice to visit. But I think that it will be more interesting if all rooms are rearranged to bear their original functions, and all the decorations are also recolored. This will sure help all visitors to have better image about the past royal families living in these palaces, their way of life, etc. Last but not least, do not forget to visit the Tian-an-men gate after dark. The buildings look very charming with numerous lights at the roofs and walls.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in March, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 389031020370531/k2311a039/3.9.10
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