Beijing's Imperial City and Forbidden City


Encircling the Forbidden City, the Imperial City flanks the East and West Chang’an Streets where red walls of the Imperial City still survive in the south, with East and West Di’anmen Streets in the north, Nanheyan Street, Beiheyan Street and Chenguang Street in the east, and East and West Huangchenggen and Fuyou Street in the west. Among them, Tian’anmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) is not only the main entrance to the Imperial City, but also the political symbol of the People’s Republic of China.

Behind Shenwumen (Gate of Divine Might) stands Jingshan which used to be imperial garden during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Jingshan sits at the very center of Beijing’s Inner City and plays an important role in this city’s urban layout. To the south of it lies the central area of the Imperial City and the Forbidden City where red walls and golden tiles meet the eye, presenting a majestic and grand vibe; to the north of it spreads the northern area of the Imperial City where sits Inner Court Yamen with its buildings painted almost all gray. Although all of them are situated within the Imperial City, the buildings vary in shape and cultural implication.