The Forbidden City, located in the center of Beijing, was the imperial palace of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Its construction started in 1406, and was completed in 1420. The rectangular palace covers an area of some 720,000 square meters. It has a total of 9,999.5 room spaces (an area enclosed by four poles).
In 1925 the Palace Museum was established here. The magnificent architectural complex and the vast holdings of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, and antiquities of the imperial collections make it one of the most prestigious museums in China and the world.