- Gate of Supreme Harmony
The gate was originally built during the
Ming Dynasty, when it was called Fengtianmen (奉天門). Following the Qingconquest of China, the gate was given its present Chinese and Manchu name. [ [http://www.northwest.com.tw/view_china_palace.htm Chinese article on Forbidden City] ]
It is flanked by two minor gates,
Zhendu Gateto the west and Zhaode Gateto the east. This gate and the Meridian Gateform the north and south boundaries of a great plaza (Shi Zi) that is divided by a serpentine waterway spanned by the "Golden River Bridges". On the north side of the gate is Harmony Squareand the entrance to the grand Hall of Supreme Harmony.
Arrayed around the stairs are a large number of
The central stairway was reserved exclusively for the Emperor and his immediate attendants, as was the central entrance of
* [http://www.world-heritage-tour.org/asia/china/ming-qing/beijing/forbidden-city/shi-zi-lion/sphere-quicktime.html World heritage immersive panorama] - In this panorama your viewpoint will be near a large bronze lion, one of a pair of traditional
imperial guardian lions. This female (in appearance much like a male lion) is always to the intruder's left, and is shown playing with a single cub. The male, to the right, will have his left paw on a globe, representing his "feeling the pulse of the earth".
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.