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Forbidden City

 Palace of Tranquil Longevity

Beijing Forbidden City - Unique gate of Palace of Tranquil Longevity

To the north of the Nine Dragon Wall, a building complex was built for the emperors who abdicated from the throne. It consists of Ningshou Gong (Palace of Tranquil Longevity), Yangxing Dian (Hall of Temper Cultivation), Leshou Tang (Hall of Joyful Longevity) and Yihe Xuan (Hall of Maintaining Harmony). This group of buildings is a microcosm of Forbidden City, for the Palace of Tranquil Longevity is equivalent to the Outer Court and the three remaining halls comprise the Inner Court.

The Palace of Tranquil Longevity was built in 1689 and was reconstructed during the reign of Emperor Qianlong. Huangji Men (Gate of Imperial Supremacy) is the south gate, with three arches decorated with colored glaze. Huangji Dian (Hall of Imperial Harmony), somewhat similar with the Hall of Supreme Harmony, served as the audience hall. The Hall of Tranquil Longevity was where the abdicant emperor worshipped to God. Now, the Hall of Imperial Harmony has been changed into a treasure gallery.

 Hall of Joyful Longevity

Behind the Palace of Tranquil Longevity was the retired emperor's private living area following his abdication. It consists of Yangxing Dian (Hall of Temper Cultivation) as the bedroom, Leshou Tang (Hall of Joyful Longevity) and Yihe Xuan (Hall of Maintaining Harmony).

Hall of Joyful Longevity in Forbidden City of Beijing

Empress Dowager Cixi lived here in her late years when she pretended to not be interfering in state affairs. At the north gate of the hall, you may observe a noteworthy jade carving which describes Yu the Great's water-control project. Yu the Great was a legendary flood control hero as well as the supposed first emperor of the Xia Dynasty (21st-16th century BC). The huge carving, weighing around 5,350 kilograms (11,795 pounds), is a masterpiece.

Now, the Hall of Joyful Longevity, together with the Hall of Temper Cultivation and the Hall of Maintaining Harmony, houses many precious royal articles like clothes, ornaments, furnishings and daily utensils.