The Forbidden City – Chinese Imperial Architecture

I remember watching the film The Last Emperor and falling in love with The Forbidden City.  Chinese Architecture has always fascinated me since that moment and it was my dream to visit China.  So when it came to choosing a honeymoon destination 5 years ago we decided to forgo the beach and have a holiday of a lifetime.  Chinese Imperial Architecture is full of rules and superstitions and being surrounded my such history and culture was incredible.  I thought I would share my love for this wonderful architectural design and history, with the Forbidden City.

Shishi: Chinese Lions made of stone and sometimes bronze located at the entrance in order to ward off evil.

Huabiao:  Wondering round these Royal Imperial buildings you will find pillars decorated with clouds and dragons.

Tunjishou: These are beasts found on the edge of buildings supposedly to stop the roof from sliding off.  The significance of the building is determined by the size and number of creatures on it.

The colours: Even the colours of the roof tiles have meanings.  Red means happiness and Yellow earth.  Yellow also symbolised royalty and used exclusively by the Chinese emperors.  Purple represents heaven and only used on the roof of the emperor.  Who knew that coloured roof tiles had so many meanings.

The number 9 & Snakes:  Is a lucky number and reflected a lot in the arts and designs of buildings.  I remember being told that there are said to be 9999 rooms in the Forbidden City and the overpowering doors are decorated in nine rows or nine bolts.  The doors all have a large step, this was to ensure snakes could not enter.

There are many more architectual rules and an incredible history to explore.  The Forbidden City was a small part of our adventure in China and hope you enjoy the slideshow

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