Recommendation by Lemi
Kick off your Imperial Palace exploration at the Meridian Gate Gallery! The Meridian Gate (午门, Wu Men) looms high above pedestrians, perfectly capturing the impressive complex awaiting inside. During important occasions, the Emperor would give his announcements from the middle balcony. The central arch was also exclusively for his entrance only, while a lucky few used the other four side arches. Upon entering, keep in mind that this mega mini-city was the seat of power to an entire empire. Between 1406 and 1420, the Yongle Emperor (otherwise known as Zhu Di or Chengzu) commanded its construction. He pooled resources from the far reaches of the region and drafted 100,000 artisans and around a million laborers.