|The Hall of Preserving Harmony 保和殿 (Bǎo Hé Diàn) has a red enamel and gilt throne. The hall was used for different purposes during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), emperors came here from their private quarters to don the ceremonial robes for rites and formal occasions. They would then move on to the Hall of Central Harmony to review offerings and visit with dignitaries and family members who would take part in the ceremonies. For instance, special ceremonial garments were required for the grand ceremony of conferring titles to the empress and crown prince. Those garments were arranged here by the eunuchs, who would then dress him. Ceremonial robes were quite elaborate. They were covered with embroidery and had many layers. Jade belts, pearls, and other jewelry added to the weight. Such garments were stored between occasions in the various rooms to the sides of the Outer Court and brought out only when needed. On a more social level, at the end of every year, the emperor held a victory banquet here to entertain military and civil officials.
Last update: January 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2009