The Forbidden City was built in 1406 to 1420. The name of the Forbidden City is related to the concept of "Human and Nature in One". There are three enclosures made up of 28 stars (Sky Animals) in the Universe; the Purple Forbidden Enclosures (Polaris) is located in the middle of all stars, where the Heavenly Emperor lived and was called Purple Palace. The Ancient Emperor claimed himself as the son of Heaven, and so he lived at Purple Palace on Earth.
|Forbidden City Feng Shui|
The Forbidden City is surrounded by rivers with four corner towers at the Southwest, Northwest, Northeast and Southeast. There are also four gates, namely the Meridian Gate in the South, the Martial Gate in the North, the West Flowery Gate in the West and East Flowery Gate in the East.
The Imperial palace called Purple Place is located in the central North-South axis. All the Emperors sat in the North with support and facing South. The main gate is the Meridian Gate in the South, and the brick wall is painted red in color, as it is located in a Fire sector. There are three entrances in the South gate and the number 3 is a Wood number, so this creates Wood energy in a Fire sector.
There are 9,999 rooms in the entire Forbidden City and the number 9 represents longevity.
THE HALL OF SUPREME HARMONY
This is one of the most magnificent halls in the entire Forbidden City and is the tallest building in the city. The hall is similar to the parliament of the country where the Emperors handled state affairs, held imperial weddings and listened to briefings and reports. There are a pair of bronze Fu Dogs at the front of the hall, the largest pair in The Forbidden City. The roofs were decorated with rows of auspicious pottery of 9 beasts including a man riding the phoenix. (The 9 beasts are the evil-dispelling bull, the courageous goat-bull, the wind and storm summoning fish, the mythical lion, the auspicious seahorse, the heavenly horse, the lion and the Chi Wen - son of Dragon). The maximum number of the beasts is nine.
The man riding the phoenix represents the man serving the Emperor to watch over the 9 beasts and to help the Emperor when going through obstacles or difficult times.
You can find different number of beasts on the roof in the Forbidden City in Beijing. All the roofs are in golden yellow tiles as golden-yellow is the color the Emperor; except the Crown Prince's palace has green tiles because green is associated with Wood - or growth energy. All the roofs have auspicious beasts on the eaves to deflect and prevent evil spirits from entering the building.
There are lots of auspicious protectors around the Forbidden City, such as bronze cranes for longevity and bronze dragon tortoises outside the hall of supreme harmony, symbolizing the wish that the Emperor would have a long life and long reign. There are 18 large bronze incense burners at the platform of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, and the cover of the incense burner features carefully carved pa kua trigram patterns. Whenever ceremonies were held, kemenyen incense with pine branches were burnt to offer smoke to the heavens and the local spirits. This brings stability, security and power for the State.
The Martial Gate in the North is kind of the back door of the Forbidden City. It was named the Black Tortoise Gate. The West Flowery Gate in the West is where workers delivered metal materials. The East Flowery Gate in the East was mainly for delivery of wood materials to the city; also, when people passed away (other than the Emperor) their bodies are taken out through this gate. All gates in the Forbidden City are decorated with a 9 X 9 array of golden door nails equal to 81 door nails - a yang number - except for the East Glorious Gate, which has only eight rows equal to 72 door nails - a yin number. Even numbers are said to be yin and odd numbers yang.
THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN
Temple of Heaven was built from 1522 - 1567, where the Emperors worshiped the heavens and prayed for good harvests. This Is the largest existing complex of worship in the world. It was built in 1368 and called the "Altar of the Heaven and the Earth".
The layout of the Temple of Heaven is circular in the North and square in the South to symbolize Heaven (round) and Earth (Square). The Circular Mound Altar was built in 1530 where the heaven worshiping ceremonies were staged. The Circular Mound was a 3-tiered stone terrace with four entrances and nine steps leading down in each direction. The number 9 represents the Emperor and the Circular Mound Altar was built in center of Heavenly Heart stone is surrounded by a ring of 9 plates, then the second ring of 18 plates, and so on for a total of nine surrounding rings, the outermost having 9 x 9 plates. The middle terrace has 90 stones in the tenth ring up to 162 in the 18th; the lower one has 171 stones in the 19th ring, up to 243 in the 27th ring.
THE HALL OF PRAYER FOR GOOD HARVESTS (QI NIAN DIAN)
This hall is supported by 28 huge pillars in the 3 rings. The 4 inner pillars represent the four seasons of a year.
The twelve middle pillars represent 12 months of a year and the twelve outer pillars represent the 12 hours of a day (Ancient Chinese use 2 hours for 1 hour time), They believed that there were 28 Constellations that made up the sky. The roofs of the hall were all covered with blue glazed tiles, symbolizing the color of Heaven.
THE SUMMER PALACE
Summer Palace was for the Emperor and Empress to have political activities and to rest in the late period of Dynasty (1644-1911). The whole project took 15 years. The Summer Palace covers an area of 290 hectares. A bronze pair of Fu Dogs was placed at the entrance to the Summer Palace for protection. The Seventeen-Arch Bridge is 150 meters long inside the Summer Palace. The arch is the number 8, no matter whether you count it from left to right or right to left. There are 544 stone Fu Dogs on the top of the balusters. Each of these Dogs has its own posture.
In this post, I have just shown you three places you can find out the set up related to Feng Shui. There are lots of buildings, such as The Archer's Tower at Deshengmen located nearby in downtown of Beijing, but I am unable to show you all. You can also find big Pi Yaos facing outwards to protect the capital. If you have chance to Beijing. you will see lots of Fu Dogs around the city. To find out more, you can check out Forbidden City Feng Shui.