Hall of Supreme Harmony Forbidden City in Beijing - 2008

Forbidden City in Beijing - 2008

Hall of Supreme Harmony - 27

The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the largest, and rises some 30 meters (98 ft) above the level of the surrounding square. It is the ceremonial center of imperial power, and the largest surviving wooden structure in China. It is nine bays wide and five bays deep, the numbers 13 and 20 being symbolically connected to the majesty of the Emperor. Set into the ceiling at the center of the hall is an intricate caisson decorated with a coiled dragon, from the mouth of which issues a chandelier-like set of metal balls, called the "Xuanyuan Mirror". In the Ming Dynasty, the Emperor held court here to discuss affairs of state. During the Qing Dynasty, as Emperors held court far more frequently, a less ceremonious location was used instead, and the Hall of Supreme Harmony was only used for ceremonial purposes, such as coronations, investitures, and imperial weddings.

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