The Palace of 9999 rooms- Forbidden City
True to the legend, the Forbidden City has 9999 rooms in which the Emperors of China resided until 1924, and thus is ten times bigger than Buckingham Palace in London.
A tangle of temple halls, residential buildings and accommodation for concubines and eunuchs, it’s hard not to lose yourself in here. A city within a city.So far, only a part of the complex is open to visitors.
With the paint in the centuries-old halls coming off, termites eating away at the old wooden pillars, the roofs being leaky and the ornate wall paintings fading, Beijing’s Imperial Palace is currently undergoing the biggest ren-ovation in its history.
The task of the century: since 2002, up to 2000 craftsmen and restora-tion specialists have worked on returning the Palace to its former glory. The work is scheduled to be finished by 2020 – in time for the 600th anniversary celebrations.
The Imperial Palace administration opted for contemporary technology and thus has been working with ERCO since 1999.
ERCO sets the highest standards in museum lighting. Visitors and tourists, who can only peer into the lavishly furnished interior from outside, mostly do not realise that the hall is fitted with almost two dozen con-cealed ERCO floodlights.
Another highlight of the Palace complex, the “Hall of Supreme Harmony” (Taihedian), is currently veiled in green cloth while the hammering and renovating is still ongoing. At 29 metres, this hall is the tallest building in the Forbidden City. Here, China’s Emperors were once crowned, hence the lavish interior of this building. Mythical creatures decorate the eaves.
When it rains, 1142 marble dragonheads spew out the water. The terrace is adorned with bronze tortoises and cranes, symbols of luck and eternal reign.
The renovated hall will reopen to visitors in time for the start of the Olympic Games in the summer. Around 100 ERCO spotlights will then present it in the right light.