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Four Gates in the Forbidden City

Beijing Forbidden City has four doors, the main entrance is called the Meridian Gate. Meridian Gate has five holes and its plane is concave and magnificent. Behind the Meridian Gate, there are five exquisite white marble arch bridge which are leading to the Gate of Supreme Harmony. East Gate is named Dong Hua Gate, west gate is named Xi Hua Gate, and the north gate is called the Gate of Devine Might.

Forbidden City

Meridian Gate

Meridian Gate

The Meridian Gate, the main entrance of the Forbidden City in Beijing, is located in the north-south axis of the Forbidden City. This door is centered with a sunny exposure where is the meridian, hence the name Meridian Gate. It was first built in 1420. Meridian Gate was the place for the Emperor to issue the imperial edict. Here, the emperor granted spring pancake at the beginning of spring; granted bean paste cake on Dragon Boat Festival; granted rice cake with bean paste on Double Ninth Day. On Lunar October 1, the emperor would issue the calendar of next year. In Ming Dynasty, if the Minister had violated the dignity of the imperial family, they would be tied to suffer the punishment of spanking buttocks in front of the Meridian Gate, which was named "Tingzhang". Initially it was only symbolic punishment, however, it was developed to beat sb to death, hence, the folk introduced a rumour "Pushout to the Meridian Gate to be beheaded".

Gate of Devine Might

Gate of Devine Might

The Gate of Devine Might (Shenwu Gate) is the north gate of the Beijing Forbidden City. It was first built in 1420 and was called Xunwu Gate during that period. Xuanwu is one of the four ancient mythical creatures, speaking from orientation, the Green Dragon was on left, the White Tiger was on right, the Vermilion Bird was in the front, and the Xuanwu was in the back. Xuanwu represents the north, hence, most of the north gate of the imperial palaces were named "Xuanwu". The gate was built in Qing Emperor Kangxi period, and was renamed "Shenwu Gate". The building is surrounded by white marble stone balustrade, and built with double eaves hip roof which is decorated with colour paintings. On the upper eave, there is hanging a board with blue and gilt bronze Chinese word "Shenwu Men". The roof of the building is covered by yellow glazed tiles. The top of the inner building is decorated with golden grass ceiling and the ground is paved with gold bricks.

Dong Hua Gate and Xi Hua Gate

Dong Hua Gate and Xi Hua Gate are opposite far away, outside the door there is dismount hearstone, inside the door there is the Golden Stream flowing from south to north with a stone bridge above it. The two gates have same shape and structure, rectangle flat surface, red city platform, white jade xumizuo. The gate tower is built with yellow glazed tile, double eaves and hip roof. After the death of the emperor, his coffin would be transferred from the Dong Hua Gate, hence, it got another name "ghost gate".