The Chinese word 宮 (pronounced "gōng")=Palace


Originally uploaded by Stefans Photos



宮 gōng is represented with two rooms connected (呂), under a roof (宀). Originally the character applied to any residence or mansion, but starting with the Qin Dynasty (3rd century BC) it was used only for the residence of the emperor and members of the imperial family.


There are many interesting palaces to visit in China. The most well known is the Forbidden City (紫禁城), now known in China as the Beijing Gugong (北京故宫), in Beijing (北京): is the imperial palace of the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty from 1421 until 1924. Area: 720,000 m² (178 acres). 


In Xi'an, also called Changan since it is the largest city in north-west China and had served as the nation's capital for 13 dynasties such as Western Zhou (11th century BC - 771 BC), Qin (221 BC - 206 BC), Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD) and Tang (618 - 907) for more than 1000 years.  Xi'an is famous for its historical importance. And top attractions in Xian include the Terra-cotta Army, Banpo Museum, Huaqing Hotspring, City Wall, Big Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Xian Great Mosque, Forest of Stone Steles Museum.


The other two palaces highlighted today are Taiji Palace 太极宮 - "The Palace of the Supreme Ultimate") and Daming Palace 大明宮 - "The Palace of the Great Brightness". Both are situated in the downtown of  Xi'an (西安), Shaanxi province.


Taiji Palace is also known as the Western Apartments (西内), while Daming Palace 大明宮 is the Eastern Apartments (東内). In the beginning of the Tang Dynasty (until A.D. 663), it has an area of 4.2 km² (1,040 acres) with an imperial section proper of 1.92 km² (474 acres). The Daming Palace 大明宮 is used for major state ceremonies such as coronations. It area is 3.11 km² (768 acres).
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