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Forbidden City
Hall of Supreme Harmony 太和殿

Fire is one of the greatest dangers in the Forbidden City. Vats or cauldrons were placed at various places throughout the city. The pair in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony were gilded bronze and have elaborate handles with lion head plates. They were added during the Qing Dynasty. Similar gold-plated cauldrons are found in front of other major halls, as well. The Ming Dynasty vats were simpler and made of both iron and bronze. You will see them lined before most of the buildings. At one time there were more than three hundred in the city, now there are about two hundred left. The Japanese melted the rest to make bullets or shells during the Anti-Japanese War.

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

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Last update: January 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2009