Dallas area: 1201 International Parkway, Suite 200, Richardson, TX 75081
Houston area: 3080 Northpark Drive, Kingwood, TX 77339
wuzhongj@hebeiwushu.com · tel. (469) 774-1618
Hebei Chinese Martial Arts Institute
Sifu Wuzhong Jia

· Wu Shu - Kung Fu (Gong Fu) · Shaolin (long fist) · Tai Chi (Taiji: Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu/Hao, Sun, taolu) ·
· Chi Kung (Qigong: medical, longevity, Taoist, Shaolin Yijinjing, Ba Duan Jin, Wild Goose) ·
· Ba Gua (Pa Kua: Cheng, Liang, Yin) · Xing Yi (Hsing-I: 5 elements, 12 animals) · Push-Hands ·
· Sanshou (Sanda) · Weapons (straight sword, broad sword, staff, spear, sabre, whip, fan, Guan Dao) ·




Forbidden City (Gugong)

The magnificent Forbidden City is the world's largest and best-preserved imperial palace complex. Surrounded by a moat that is six meters deep and a ten-meter high wall are 9,999 rooms - just one room short of the number that ancient Chinese believed represented divine perfection. Once having entered the Forbidden City, visitors are transported to a spacious world of great luxury that had a culture of its own. For five centuries, this palace functioned as the administrative center of the country as well as being the pleasure home of the emperors and empresses who were served by thousands of people. Walking along the corridors and through various rooms it becomes easy to understand the impact of the rulers who lived here and their isolation from the rest of Chinese life. Regardless of how much history you have read, or movies featuring the Forbidden City you have seen, the place itself is not to be missed by any Beijing visitor.

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 covers 74 hectares. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Devine Might (Shenwumen), 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".

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