A section Beijing’s Forbidden City is set to open to the public for the first time.

Forbidden City, a palace complex in central Beijing, China, was once the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty and now houses the Palace Museum. The Forbidden City has acted as the home of emperors and the and political centre of the Chinese government for almost 500 years.

Having been constructed from 1406 to 1420 and consisting of 980 buildings, the location has previously been private and unavailable to the public. Now though, the World’s Monuments Fund has revealed a partnership with the Palace Museum and will set up a new interpretive centre at Qianlong Garden.

The location of the centre was once set out as a private retreat by the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty and, according to WMF, “the buildings contain decoration and furnishings from a time widely considered to be one of the boldest and most extravagant periods of interior design in China’s history. The structures possess some of the most significant, exquisitely-designed interiors to survive relatively unchanged from imperial China.”

Many of the available amenities have been restored, including the courtyard, three distinct halls and an exhibition space in the main hall. The opening next year will coincide with the 600th anniversary and also include a view of one of the most significant sites within the Forbidden City to remain unrestored. 

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