HEADLINE US President Trump to visit Forbidden City in Beijing

HEADLINE

US President Trump to visit Forbidden City in Beijing

People's Daily app

15:59, November 07, 2017

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The Palace Museum. Photo: DFIC

Established in 1925, the Palace Museum is located in the imperial palace of the consecutive Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) 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 1961, the State Council designated the former imperial residence as one of China's foremost-protected cultural heritage sites, and in 1987 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

From November 8, US President Donald Trump will start his visit in China. During his visit, he is planned to visit famous tourist architectures in the Palace Museum. The following are some of them.

 The "Three Great Halls" (Sandadian)-the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihedian), the Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghedian) and the Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohedian) are located in the Front Palace (Qianchao), the south part of the palace grounds.

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The Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihedian).  Photo: The Palace Museum

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The Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihedian). Photo: The Palace Museum

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The Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihedian). Photo: The Palace Museum

The Hall of Supreme Harmony sits in the center of the Forbidden City, on the Imperial Way (yulu) – the remarkable section of the invisible central axis of the city. The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the largest hall and the most dignified building in the Forbidden City, and architecturally the highest-ranking building of the surviving traditional architecture in China. Golden dragon designs dominate the hall's decoration. The ten figurines at each of its roof corners distinguish it as superior to other ancient buildings.

Its name reflects the significant sociopolitical ideal of universal harmony under haven. The current building was reconstructed during the Emperor Kangxi era (1662-1722). In history, the Hall of Supreme Harmony was used by emperors for holing grand rituals or ceremonies. 

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The Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghe dian).  Photo: The Palace Museum

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The Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghe dian). Photo: The Palace Museum

Located between the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe dian) and the Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohe dian), the Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghe dian) resembles the corridor that connected the front and rear halls of a grand palace building in ancient times and is built in early fifteenth century as part of the original design of the Forbidden City.

Its name conveys the philosophy of using the Golden Mean to achieve universal peace and harmony. The Hall of Central Harmony is used for the emperor receiving obeisance from his officials before presiding over grand ceremonies in the Hall of Supreme Harmony. 

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The Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohe dian).  Photo: The Palace Museum

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The Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohe dian).  Photo: The Palace Museum

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The Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohe dian). Photo: The Palace Museum

The last and most northern of the “Three Great Halls” in the Front Palace is the Hall of Preserving Harmony, which was completed in the early fifteenth century.

It is named the Hall of Preserving Harmony— with the implication of preserving the unity of one's inner spirit, and sharing harmony under heaven. In history, the Hall of Preserving Harmony has been used by emperors for changing into ceremonial robes, wedding venue, and a temporary residence. 

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Belvedere of Pleasant Sounds (Changyin ge).  Photo: The Palace Museum

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Belvedere of Pleasant Sounds (Changyin ge). Photo: The Palace Museum

The Belvedere of Pleasant Sounds (Changyin ge) is the largest opera theatre in the Palace Museum, and it consists of three floors. From the top to the bottom, they are named "Fortune (fu)", "Wealth" (lu), and "Longevity"(shou).

 Here costumes, masks, playbills, stage properties, and old photos comprise a colorful display, with classical arias of traditional Chinese opera by famous singers broadcast.

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The Antiques Hospital. Photo: DFIC

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The Antiques Hospital. Photo: Xinhua

The museum's repair and restoration workshop, dubbed "the antiques hospital," is a place for the repair of museum exhibits such as paintings and calligraphy, bronze, porcelain and furniture.

The center boasts world-class talent and the most advanced equipment, including a CT machine and microscopic observation facility.

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Palace of Established Happiness (Jianfu gong). Photo: The Palace Museum

The Jianfu Palace was built by Qing-dynasty Emperor Qianlong in 1742. The Jianfu Palace Garden was destroyed by fire in the year of 1923 and received a complete restoration in 2005. The Jianfu Palace has housed famous figures such as US former President George H.W. Bush and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

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The Hall of Three Rarities (Sanxi tang). Photo: DFIC

The Hall of Three Rarities is well-known for three treasures of Chinese calligraphy collected by Qing-dynasty Emperor Qianlong, which refer to the three masterpieces of Wang Xizhi family in Eastern Jin Dynasty (316-420): "Timely Clearing After Snowfall" by Wang Xizhi, "Mid-Autumn Festival" by Wang Xianzhi, and "Letter to Boyuan" by Wang Xun.

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Dr. Shan Jixiang, director of the Palace Museum. Photo: VCG

Dr. Shan Jixiang started his research on the conservation and planning of historical cities and cultural heritage areas while studying in Japan from 1980 to 1984. After returning to China, he was successively appointed deputy director of Beijing Municipal Administration of City Planning, director of the Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage, secretary of the CPC of Fangshan District of Beijing, director of Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning, and director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. In 2012 he became the director of the Palace Museum.

A student of China's renowned academician, Professor Wu Liangyong (b.1922), Shan graduated from the School of Architecture, Tsinghua University and received the Eng.D degree. In March, 2005, Dr. Shan received the International Leadership Award issued by the American Planning Association.

(Compiled by Yang Chuchu from People's Daily app)

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