When was the Forbidden City built

when was the forbidden city built

The Forbidden City is a vast palace complex located in the center of Beijing, China, that served as the imperial residence of Chinese emperors for almost 500 years, from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty. The construction of the Forbidden City began in 1406 and was completed in 1420, taking a total of 14 years to complete.

The building process of the Forbidden City was a massive undertaking that required the labor of hundreds of thousands of workers and craftsmen. The project was led by the Ming dynasty Emperor Yongle, who ordered the palace’s construction in 1406.

The construction process involved gathering and transporting materials from all over China. The main building materials used were timber, stone, bricks, and tiles. The timber was sourced from the forests of the Jizhou and Yanzhou regions, while the stone was quarried from Fangshan, located around 70 km southwest of Beijing. The bricks used to construct the walls of the Forbidden City were produced locally in Beijing, while the tiles for the roofs were crafted in Suzhou, a city renowned for its skilled artisans.

The construction process was divided into three main stages. The first stage involved the excavation and leveling of the site, which required the removal of over a million cubic meters of earth and the construction of a massive retaining wall around the perimeter of the palace complex.

The second stage involved the construction of the buildings and other structures within the palace complex. This included the construction of gates, halls, palaces, and gardens. The buildings were arranged in a symmetrical pattern, with the main buildings positioned along a central axis that runs from the Meridian Gate in the south to the Palace of Heavenly Purity in the north.

The third and final stage involved the decoration and furnishing of the palace complex. This involved the installation of ornate carvings, paintings, and sculptures, as well as the placement of furniture and other furnishings within the various halls and chambers.

In total, the construction of the Forbidden City took 14 years to complete, from 1406 to 1420. It is estimated that over a million workers, including skilled craftsmen, laborers, and artisans, were involved in the construction process.

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