The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is located in the heart of Beijing/Peking. It has been the focus of authority in imperial China for over 6 centuries. A city within a city, its high red walls enclosed the centre of government, the imperial palace. Also enclosed within are huge lakes dotted with islands and pleasure-boats, workshops producing clothing, furniture and fittings and luxury items for the court and a zoo with horses, cats, elephants and, occasionally, a giraffe. For hundreds of years, thousands of eunuchs served their imperial masters within the Forbidden City, taking control of the flow of administrative documents and all the daily needs of emperors and women of the palace. This book introduces the colourful characters who inhabited the Forbidden City and evokes the strictly prescribed rituals that made up life behind its walls.
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Officials and eunuchs
Banquets and bedchambers
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altars Beijing BM OA Buddhist building built cakes Castiglione centre China Chinese Cixi's colour concubines consorts construction courtyard decorated diplomatic dishes dragons Dutch early Qing eaves Empress Dowager Cixi enclosure eunuchs Fang see note fire flowers Forbidden City foreign garden Guangxu emperor Heavenly Purity Hong Kong Hongxing see note Ibid imperial family imperial household Inner Court inner palace Jesuit Jiajing Jiajing emperor Kangxi emperor Korean Lady lake last emperor Manchu mandarins Meridian Gate Ming emperor Mongols Nanjing officials outer court painting Palace of Earthly Palace of Heavenly Palace of Tranquil palace servants palace women pavilion porcelain portrait princes Princess Der Ling pronounced Puyi Qianlong emperor Qing dynasty Rawski see note Reginald Johnston reign rituals roofs Sea Palaces sec note Shunzhi emperor silk Taoist Temple of Heaven tiles timber Tranquil Longevity Tsai walls Wanli emperor Western Xuande emperor yellow Yongle emperor Yongzheng emperor Yuan Zhang Hongxing