The Hall of Literary Brilliance complex, just to the east of the Forbidden City's entrance at the Meridian Gate was formerly used as a residence by the crown prince. It was rebuilt in 1683 after being destroyed by fire. It hosts a changing line-up of exhibitions throughout the year, but is sometimes closed between November and March.

Around the back is the Pavilion of Literary Profundity, built in 1776 to house the Complete Library of the Four Treasuries.

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1. Gate of Supreme Harmony

0.12 MILES

Originally built in 1420, the Gate of Supreme Harmony is the main gate of the Forbidden City's outer court. It was used by the emperor for his morning…

2. East Prosperity Gate

0.12 MILES

The east gate of the Forbidden City, through which you can exit but not enter. Inside are exhibitions belonging to the Gallery of Historic Architecture.

3. Meridian Gate

0.16 MILES

This mighty edifice is the Forbidden City's front door, where all visitors to the Palace Museum pass through. During imperial times, the central channel,…

4. Hall of Supreme Harmony

0.17 MILES

One of the Three Great Halls, this is the most important and largest structure in the Forbidden City. Built in the 15th century and restored in the 17th…

6. Gate of Glorious Harmony

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A portal leading to the Hall of Martial Valour in the western regions of the Forbidden City's outer court.

7. Hall of Central Harmony


Behind the Hall of Supreme Harmony is the Hall of Central Harmony, which was used as the emperor’s transit lounge. Here he would make last-minute…

8. Three Great Halls


Raised on a three-tier marble terrace with balustrades are the Three Great Halls, the glorious ceremonial heart not just of the Forbidden City but of the…