Visit to The Palace Museum
Established in Protected content , the Palace Museum is located in the imperial palace of the consecutive Ming ( Protected content ) and Qing ( Protected content ) dynasties. The magnificent architectural complex, also known as the Forbidden City, and the vast holdings of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, and antiquities of the imperial collections make it one of the most prestigious museums in China and the world. In Protected content , the State Council designated the former imperial residence as one of China's foremost-protected cultural heritage sites, and in Protected content was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Situated in the heart of Beijing, the Palace Museum is approached through the Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tian'an men). Immediately to the north of the Palace Museum is Prospect Hill (also called Coal Hill), while on the east and west are the Wangfujing and Zhongnanhai neighborhoods. Ancient China’s astronomers endowed the location with cosmic significance. They correlated the emperor's abode, which they considered the pivot of the terrestrial world, with the Pole Star (Ziwei yuan)—believed to be the center of the heavens. Because of its centrality and restricted access, the palace was called the Forbidden City. During nearly six hundred years of imperial operation, the palace served as the residence and court of twenty-four emperors.
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