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紫禁城介紹

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  Lying at the center of Beijing, the Forbidden City, called Gu Gong, in Chinese, was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world‘s largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter high wall are 9,999 buildings. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Devine Might , which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 meters, while the distance between the gates in the east and west walls is 750 meters. There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924 when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. Having been the imperial palace for some five centuries, it houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world wide.
 
  Construction of the palace complex began in 1407, the 5th year of the Yongle reign of the third emperor of the Ming dynasty. It was completed fourteen years later in 1420. It was said that a million workers including one hundred thousand artisans were driven into the long-term hard labor. Stone needed was quarried from Fangshan, a suburb of Beijing. It was said a well was dug every fifty meters along the road in order to pour water onto the road in winter to slide huge stones on ice into the city. Huge amounts of timber and other materials were freighted from faraway provinces. Ancient Chinese people displayed their very considerable skills in building the Forbidden City. Take the grand red city wall for example. It has an 8.6 meters wide base reducing to 6.66 meters wide at the top. The angular shape of the wall totally frustrates attempts to climb it. The bricks were made from white lime and glutinous rice while the cement is made from glutinous rice and egg whites. These incredible materials make the wall extraordinarily strong.
 
  Since yellow is the symbol of the royal family, it is the dominant color in the Forbidden City. Roofs are built with yellow glazed tiles; decorations in the palace are painted yellow; even the bricks on the ground are made yellow by a special process. However, there is one exception. Wenyuange, the royal library, has a black roof. The reason is that it was believed black represented water then and could extinguish fire.
 
  Nowadays, the Forbidden City, or the Palace Museum is open to tourists from home and abroad. Splendid painted decoration on these royal architectural wonders, the grand and deluxe halls, with their surprisingly magnificent treasures will certainly satisfy "modern civilians".
 
  明清兩代皇帝居住的宮城叫做紫禁城。紫禁城有兩座,一在北京,一在南京。南京紫禁城是明太祖朱元璋和建文帝朱允 4位皇帝和清代10位皇帝。他們在這里君臨天下,統治中國491年,將近五個世紀。
 
  這座故宮為什么稱為紫禁城呢?原來,中國古代天文學說,根據對太空天體的長期觀察,認為紫微星垣居于中天,位置永恒不變,是天帝所居。因而,把天帝所居的天宮謂之紫宮,有“紫微正中”之說。
 
  封建皇帝自稱是天帝的兒子,是真龍天子;而他們所居住的皇宮,被比喻為天上的紫宮。他們更希望自己身居紫宮,可以施政以德,四方歸化,八面來朝,這到江山永固,以維護長期統治的目的。
 
  明清兩代的皇帝,出于維護他們自己的權威和尊嚴以及考慮自身的安全,所修建的皇宮,既富麗堂皇,又森嚴壁壘。這座城池,不僅宮殿重重,樓閣櫛比,并圍以10米多高的城墻和52米寬的護城河,而且哨崗林立,戒備森嚴。平民百姓不用說觀賞一下樓臺殿閣,就是看一看門額殿角,也是絕對不允許的。
 
  明清皇帝及其眷屬居住的皇宮,除了為他們服務的宮女、太監、侍衛之外,只有被召見的官員以及被特許的人員才能進入。這里是外人不能逾越雷池一步禁區。因此,明清兩代的皇宮,既喻為紫宮,又是禁地,故舊稱紫禁城。
 
  北京紫禁城占地面積724250平方米,還沒把護城河和護城河與城墻的綠化帶計算在內。宮殿房屋建筑面積為155000平立米。紫禁城是一座長方形的城池,南北長961米,東西寬753米,四周有高10米多的城墻圍繞,城墻的外沿周長為3428米(城墻外有寬52米的護城河,是護衛紫禁城的重要設施)。城墻四邊各有一門,南為午門,北為神武門,東為東華門,西為西華門。城墻的四角有四座設計精巧的角樓。
 
  北京紫禁城籌建于明成祖永樂五年,興建于永樂十五年至十八年。整個營造工程由侯爵陳圭督造,具體負責是規劃師吳中。紫禁城位于都城正中,中軸線穿過皇城正中,也就是穿過紫禁城中三大殿、三大宮。紫禁城正門為正南門午門,午門是宮城中最高的門座,朝中大赦、獻俘等重大儀式都在午門舉行。其北門為神武門,東門為東華門,西門為西華門。
 
  紫禁城作為明清兩代的宮城,也分為外朝、內廷兩個部分。外朝是皇帝辦公的地方。舉凡國家的重大活動和各種禮儀,都在外朝舉行。外朝由天安門——端門——午門——太和殿——中和殿——保和殿組成的中軸線和中軸線兩旁的殿閣廊廡組成。內廷是皇帝后妃生活的地方,包括中軸線上的乾清宮、交泰殿、坤寧宮、御花園和兩旁的東西六宮等宮殿群組成。

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