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Forbidden City
故宫博物院
Western Moat 故宫西濠

The watch tower at the northwest corner of the Forbidden City looks over the moat which is the next line of defense after the walls at the perimeter, marked by the archery towers and city gates. This is a second moat. There was a moat surrounding the outer walls of the city, and this interior moat surrounded the Forbidden City. The moats were dug not only to provide defense but also to provide water for the city. They connected with water sources to the northwest of the city. If the city were placed under siege, the canals would provide plentiful water even if the source were cut. Water was necessary because fire was a constant danger. The moat also linked to other bodies of water to serve transportation needs. Eventually there would be canals built that allowed the Emperor and his retinue to travel to the Summer Palace and points beyond without resorting to sedan chairs.











China Index >> History of Beijing in Pictures >> Tian'anmen

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http://hua.umf.maine.edu/China/HistoricBeijing/Forbidden_City/index.html
Last update: January 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2009