Palace of Gathered Elegance

Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

This hall contains interesting photos of the last emperor Puyi, who lived here as a child ruler at the turn of the 20th century. Empress Dowager Cixi also lived here as a young concubine, where she gave birth to the boy who would become Emperor Tongzhi.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central attractions

1. Imperial Garden

0.06 MILES

At the northern end of the Forbidden City is the Imperial Garden, where emperors and their consorts could retreat to read, relax, sip tea and stroll among…

2. Palace of Eternal Longevity

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One of the six western palaces in the Forbidden City, this was the residence of various empresses and imperial concubines. The Chongzhen Emperor (1628…

3. Palace of Earthly Tranquillity

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This palace was originally the residence of the empress, and in later times became the imperial couple’s bridal chamber (they only spent the first two…

4. Hall of Imperial Peace

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This attractive double-eaved hall is the only Taoist temple located on the central axis of Beijing.

5. Hall of Union

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The middle of the three outer halls, the Hall of Union was the place for the empress to receive greetings from her high-ranking subjects during major…

6. Shunzhen Gate

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Small gate leading to the Gate of Divine Prowess, which serves as the Forbidden City's north exit.

7. Palace of Heavenly Purity

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This hall was the principal residence of the emperor in the Ming and early Qing dynasties, where the son of heaven slept and worked. Later in the Qing…

8. Hall of Mental Cultivation


In the late Qing dynasty, the Hall of Mental Cultivation was where empress dowagers Cixi and Cian took charge of the state affairs behind a screen, when…