Beijing’s Forbidden City Mysteries
If it were a question of comparison between the areas occupied, Beijing’s Forbidden City covers 720,000 square meters, following the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul (700,000 square meters), Vatican (440,000 square meters) and then Kremlin (275,000 square meters). Except the surface of colossal dimensions of this place are outlined and by the 9999 (9 is considered the lucky Chinese number) of rooms contained in the palaces built within the city walls over 10 meters high, or the surrounding moat, wide over 50 meters.
The curious ones can find out by visiting the Forbidden City, many details about the secret life full of rituals of people who lived here at that time. The name comes from the fact that those who managed to get in here were very few, and mostly those who entered, leading his life to finish within its walls. By the late of 18th century, in Forbidden City lived about 9,000 people – guards, slaves, eunuchs, concubines, civil servants and royal family.
The base of city was built on over 14 years (1407-1420) with the 200,000 workers and materials were brought from all over China, being transported by a series of canals built in the 6th and 7th centuries. The Chinese have built all the buildings only painted wood, and taking precautions but placing bronze boiler filled with water at regular distances through all palaces, so that the risk of fire to be much lower.
Here are some interesting aspects about Chinese emperors and how they conduct their lives around:
Emperors were entitled to several wives and many concubines (for example, Emperor Qianlong had two wives and 29 concubines). Concubines were usually very well educated women and chosen from the best Manchu families. Every night, the king decided that the concubines will spend the night with him, going to be bathed and shaved before being brought into the imperial bedroom. Her social status increases with the number given by the visit at Emperor. Women, regardless of their status, were completely denied access to the sacred rooms, except the Empress in wedding day.
Another strange custom at the imperial court, consists of castration of servants since 2000 years ago. For example, in the early Qing Dynasty, there were 9,000 eunuchs, reducing their number to 1,500 in 1908. Their testes were mummified and preserved in jars to be buried with them at death. Maintain the environment because of revenge, murder and power struggles, many of whom were treated very harshly and executed without too grounded reasons.
Depending on the social status, each courtier eat and drink in vessels of certain colors. Only the Emperor and Empress have the right to eat from vessels of gold or bright yellow color, therefore, in Qing kitchens were around 3,000 vessels of gold and silver during the 18th century. It seems that the identity of the successor to the throne was kept as a secret until after the death of the Emperor, at which it was revealed a sealed document that corresponds to the document had been in possession of the deceased Emperor. Last Emperor, known as Puyi, came to the throne at the age of three years and was forced to abdicate in February 1912. He still lived in the Forbidden City until 1924, commence within the British had a tutor, Reginald Johnston, who offered him his first bike.