A Step Back in Time in the Forbidden City
A Step Back in Time
in the Forbidden City
Explore the Forbidden City and Zhonshan Park to uncover the fall of the Ming Dynasty
and the Manchu conquest, one of the epic tales of Chinese history. Learn what life
was like for the people who lived and worked in this otherworldly citadel.
WHY THIS TOUR?
For nearly 600 years, the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties ruled China from behind the imposing red walls of the Forbidden City. Theirs was a private world of palaces, gardens, courtyards, temples and thrones. It was so named because access to the area was barred to most of the subjects of the realm.
This extravagant palace complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 and is surrounded by numerous opulent imperial gardens and temples including Zhongshan Park, Jingshan Park and Beihai Park. The final occupant and the last emperor of imperial China, Puyi, was expelled in 1925 when the site was transformed into the Palace Museum.
09:00 - 12:00
13:00 - 16:00
One of our drivers will collect you from the hotel and take you to the Forbidden City where you will meet your English-speaking historian. While you explore this otherworldly citadel, he will relate the story of the fall of the Ming Dynasty and the Manchu conquest, one of the epic tales of Chinese history. The guide will also examine the differences and continuities between the Ming and the Qing eras. The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) came to power in a rebellion against the Mongol Khans. The Qing Empire (1636-1912) was founded by the Manchus who originate from a region that is now part of North-East China. In 1644, the Manchus conquered China and moved the capital of their empire to Beijing. Although the Qing Dynasty ended in 1912, the imperial legacy continues to influence China’s present and future.
This walk also considers what life was like for the men and women who lived and worked in the palace. Who built the Forbidden City and why? What did it feel like reporting for duty as an imperial official? Who were the eunuchs who performed much of the necessary daily functions for the palace and its inhabitants? What was life like for a woman in the imperial family?
The walk will take you to some of the more recently opened areas to avoid the crowds, while giving a sense of the diverse architecture of the Forbidden City.
At the end of the tour, the driver will take you back to the hotel.