8 August, Thursday
CHINA, Beijing – The Forbidden City represents the historical and cultural heart of not just the capital Beijing, but of China. Built from 1406 to 1420, the Forbidden City served as the Imperial Palace and central point of power of the Ming and Qing Dynasties for some 500 years.
With the abdication of the last emperor in 1912, the Forbidden City was languishing in dust and emptiness before becoming a palace museum in 1925. Today, more than 80% of the entire palace grounds are open to the public, with gift shops, restaurants, and cafes taking up tenancy, breathing a new life into the historic Forbidden City.