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Forbidden City
Gate of Supreme Harmony 太和门

The square between the Gate of Supreme Harmony (on the right) and the Hall of Supreme Harmony is expansive and uninterrupted. It is called the Sea of Flagstones. Imagine 10,000 soldiers and ministers arrayed in their finest clothes and uniforms arrayed to greet a foreign delegation bringing tribute from a far off land. Perhaps they bring a new concubine for the emperor, perhaps a sting of camels laden with fine spices and rare foods. The ancients didn't just value gold and jewels. Trade was set up to exchange all sorts of delights. Salt was one of the most precious commodities and was as good as gold for trade, if not better. Major ceremonies were held here with hundreds and even thousands in processions and performances. Directly across the square is the two story Pavilion of Embodying Benevolence 体仁阁 (Tǐrén Gé).

China Index >> History of Beijing in Pictures >> Forbidden City >> Gate of Supreme Harmony

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Last update: January 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2009