Forbidden City

-- Jiaotaidian (Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union) --

Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union represents a happy marriage of the emperor and the empress. Jiaotaidian, the Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union, was first built in 1420 and rebuilt in 1655 and 1798 respectively. As its name implies it symbolises the happy marriage of the emperor and empress. Resembling Zhonghedian, the Hall of Central Harmony in design, it is the smallest of the three main palaces in the Inner Court. It was here that empresses would receive formal birthday greetings. Empresses would inspect preparations before they went to preside over memorial ceremonies for the Silkworm God and practise sericulture, (the rearing of silkworms for the production of raw silk.) Emperor Shunzhi's order that eunuchs should be banned from attending state affairs was placed here. To the right of the throne, visitors will see an ancient Chinese timing device, the equivalent of an hour glass but using water rather than sand. To the left there is a chiming clock. These were used to calculate the time for the Drum Tower and the Bell Tower. In addition, the palace also holds twenty-five imperial seals. These denote the wish of Emperor Qianlong for the Qing dynasty to last for twenty-five generations, thereby exceeding the duration of the East Zhou dynasty, which had lasted the longest in China. However, history disappointed him, the Qing dynasty only lasted for ten reigns.

Go north to Kunninggong (Palace of Terrestrial Tranquility).

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