The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, plans to open five more sections in 2015, which will mean the area of the museum open to visitors will reach 65 percent. Let’s look at what new or restored sights await at the Palace Museum.
East: walking the city wall
Donghuamen Gate, the east gate of the Forbidden City, has been restored as an ancient architecture museum displaying exquisite ancient buildings and architectural cultural relics. Visitors will have access to the east gate’s tower to walk along the city wall to the southeast turrets before reaching the Meridian Gate (Wu Men) – the Yanchi building exhibition hall. Tourists can visit up to one sixth of the city wall and get a unique cultural experience.
South: “heaven palace on earth”
The Meridian Gate – the Yanchi building exhibition hall – is a “heaven palace on earth”. The newly renovated eastern and western sections of the Yanchi building and the Meridian Gate make up the biggest and most functional display area in the museum. This will become a special exhibition, combining the original appearance of the ancient complex with its royal elegance and the charm of modern exhibition design.
West: strolling the imperial harem
The imperial harem in the Forbidden City is the biggest attraction for “Qing Dynasty palace fans”. With so many TV series and works of literature about the concubines’ stories in the imperial harem, the opening of the Palace of Benevolent Peace and its garden, the Palace of Longevity and Health (Shoukang Gong) and the western areas of the palace is good news.
The Palace of Benevolent Peace will mainly display sculptures and around 400 historic relics, dating from the Warring States period (475-221BC). More than 40 collections will be shown in the main building of the palace.
Exhibitions in the Palace of Longevity and Health will have the theme “a motherly model of the nation”, recapturing the detailed royal life of the Empress Xiao Shengxian (1692-1777AD), mother of the Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799AD) in the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912AD).