Culture

You Can Now Step Inside A Restricted Area Of Beijing’s Forbidden City

Travellers will soon be able to explore a previously restricted part of Beijing’s Forbidden City for the first time since it was built in the 18th century.

It’s a sad truth that the world’s natural wonders are slowly disappearing. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as advances in urban development are letting us restore man-made wonders that were previously damaged or lost to time.

The Qinglong Garden, inside China’s Forbidden City (and considered one of its most significant sites), is one of these places that was lost to time. Now, for the first time ever, visitors will be able to enter the garden thanks to a restoration project led by the World Monuments Fund.

The garden was built by the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty as a private retreat for his retirement, but he died before he could use it. He ordered that the suite wasn’t to be altered, and so what’s left standing today is a mostly unchanged snapshot into life in imperial China.

 

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The Qinglong Garden occupies almost two acres of the Forbidden City, so only a portion of the site will be accessible. The restoration project is revitalising three halls, the main pavilion and the garden, including a rockery, and aims to leave as much of the site in its original condition as possible. The design and furniture of the site is from one of the boldest and most extravagant periods of interior design in the country’s history.

The Beijing gardens are expected to open in 2020, coinciding with the 600th anniversary of the year construction was completed on the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is the largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings in China. Certain areas were previously open to the public but ongoing restoration projects are slowly making more areas accessible.

Also check out these seven reasons Bejing should be on your bucket list.

(Lead image: World Monuments Fund)