The legendary Forbidden City is the world’s largest palatial area, covering 72 hectares.
Built in 1406–1420, it was the mythic great centre of power, governed by the emperor, ‘the Son of Heaven’. It’s surrounded by high walls and a wide moat, which made it inaccessible to ordinary mortals. In his palace, the emperor, surrounded by thousands of courtiers, lived a highly regulated life at the pace set by numerous ceremonies.
Over the centuries, the Forbidden City was home to 24 Ming and Qing emperors, the last of whom lived there until imperial rule met its end in 1911. Today, the Forbidden City is a museum city that attracts more than 15 million visitors a year. It has a well-deserved place on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The history of China is an inexhaustible source of interest. The exhibition at Vapriikki showcases the lavish lifestyle of the Qing emperors (1644–1911) and their courts. The fine objects on display here have come to Tampere directly from the Palace Museum in Beijing. This exhibition includes an imperial throne room and an imperial pavilion. On display are magnificent silk paintings, calligraphy, gold and jade objects, fine garments and accessories, decorative items and china.
The exhibition also presents the architecture of the Forbidden City, the emperor’s duties, the imperial army, entertainment of the court, rituals, women’s position, and the role of concubines and eunuchs.