Forbidden City

-- Qianqingmen (Gate of Celestial Purity) --

The uniquely painted plaque with gilded characters on the lintel of the Gate of Celestial Purity The gilded lioness in front of the Gate of Celestial Purity
Separated from the Outer Court by a wide piazza (200 metres east to west and 30 metres north to south) stands Qianqingmen, The Gate of Celestial Purity. This open space provides a link between the Outer and Inner Courts while creating a dramatic setting for imperial pageantry.

During the Qing dynasty the emperor would be enthroned under the centre of this gate for the purpose of receiving reports and giving his decisions on matters presented to him. Small buildings on either side were duty rooms for officials and waiting rooms to accommodate ministers awaiting interviews, etc.

Against the red wall beside gate there are ten huge gleaming, gilded bronze vats. Although these are decorative, their prime function was to contain the vast amounts of water necessary to fight any outbreak of fire in the many timber buildings. Each of these vats weighs four tons and would contain over two hundred gallons of water. There is a total of three hundred and eight vats spread around the Forbidden City, twenty-two of which are of the same design as those seen by this gate.

In the north is Qianqinggong (Palace of Celestial Purity)
Go west to see Yangxindian (Hall of Mental Cultivation)
Go east to see Fengxiandian (Hall for Ancestral Worship) & Dongliugong (Six Eastern Palaces)

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