Palace of Prolonging Happiness

Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

The most unique of the Forbidden City's six eastern palaces, the Palace of Prolonging Happiness features an unfinished 20th-century Western-style building with intricately carved white marble facade and cast-iron roof. The palace was built in 1420 and was originally similar in style to the other five palaces before burning down in 1845. Construction of the 'crystal palace' structure standing here today was started in 1909 but was discontinued due to lack of finances.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central attractions

1. Palace of Eternal Harmony

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Built in 1420, this palace has been the residence of numerous empresses, imperial concubines and consorts. It's one of the six eastern palaces in the…

2. Palace of Great Benevolence

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One of the six eastern palaces in the Forbidden City, this was a residence of imperial concubines. Emperor Kangxi, most exalted of the Qing emperors (or…

3. Palace of Celestial Favour

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One of the six eastern palaces, this dates from 1420, and was used as a residence of imperial concubines. Today it houses a museum displaying a range of…

4. Hall for Ancestral Worship

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The hall where emperors worshipped their ancestors (under restoration at time of research). Once held the spirit tablets of deceased Qing emperors.

5. Palace of Great Brilliance

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The northeasternmost of the six eastern palaces of the Forbidden City, it started out as a residence for concubines, and later became a library.

6. Palace of Accumulated Purity

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One of the Forbidden City's six eastern palaces, this is notable for being the former residence of the young Xianfeng Emperor, who lived here with his mum.

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 Imperial Supremacy

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The main hall of the Palace of Tranquil Longevity (宁寿宫, Níng Shǒu Gōng) built around 1771 for Qing emperor Qianlong's retirement, though he never moved in…