Hall of Great Harmony - the largest building in the Forbidden City
Last Update: 8th October 2020
What is the Hall of Great Harmony?
Situated at heart of the Forbidden City, the Hall of Great Harmony, is the essence of ancient Chinese palace architecture. It is one of the three largest temples in the East and is the largest existing wooden structure in China. Built in 1420, the building was burned for several times. The existing building was rebuilt in 1695.
Hall of Great Harmony Fast Facts
- Chinese Name: Tianhedian(太和殿)
- Total: 2377 square meters
- Things to do there: Photography, Architecture, Chinese Culture and History, Hiking
- Who visits: Photographers, Chinese Culture and History Lovers, Adventure Enthusiasts
- Time required: 1 x Hour
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What to expect at the Hall of Great Harmony
In ancient China, the Hall of Great Harmony was used for for holding various ceremonies. The 24 emperors of the Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644 – 1912) Dynasties held grand ceremonies in the hall, such as the ceremonies for emperor’s ascended to the throne, the emperor’s marriage, crowning the empress, and sending the Generals to battle.
In addition, the emperors accepted the civil and military officials here every year during the three festivals of the Longevity, New Year’s Day and Winter Solstice.
There are seventy-two large columns supporting the total weight of the Hall. The largest pillars has a diameter of 1.6 meters and a height of 12.7 meters.
There is a wide platform,called Danbi in front of the temple. On the platform, there is a set of sundial and grain measure, one pair of copper tortoises and two bronze cranes. Under the railing, there are many stone faucets for drainage. There are 10 types of beasts on the ridge of the roof. They are dragons, phoenixes, lions, Heaven horses, seahorses, Xiayu Fish, Suanni Lion, haechis, lynx, buls, and Hangshi Beast. The Hall of Great Harmony is the only building with these 10 types of beasts in the Forbidden City. The more the number of types of beasts there is on the ridge of the roof, the higher the grade of the building is.
Made between 1522 and 1566, the throne with the most exquisitely carved figures of dragons in the Hall of Great Harmony is the most exquisite, and the most luxurious and The Forbidden City decoration.
Best time to visit the Hall of Great Harmony
The best time to visit Hall of Great Harmony is in the morning as there are fewer tourists during the period of time.
The best months to visit are from March to May and from September to November.
How to get to the Hall of Great Harmony
As the Hall of Great Harmony is located in the Forbidden City, there are many options.
- Rent a vehicle to Forbidden City. This is the quickest and most direct option. Please note that there is no parking lot in the Forbidden City.
- Take Bus 1, Bus 120, Bus 2, Bus 52, Bus 59, Bus 82, Bus 99, Sightseeing Bus 1 and 2 and Metro 1 to the Stop of Tian’anmen Dong (天安门东站). Walk to the Forbidden City.
- Take Bus 101, Bus 103, Bus 109, Bus 58, Bus 685 and Bus 124 to the Stop of Gugong (故宫站).
Additional Hall of Great Harmony Travel Advice
- Opening hours: 08:30 – 16:10 (April 1 – October 31); 08:30 – 15:40 (November 1 – March 31).
- As the Hall of Great Harmony is located in the Forbidden City, you could visit the hall with the ticket for the Forbidden City. As at 8th October 2020, from April 1 to October 31, the entrance pricing (not including the entrance to Treasure Hall and Clocks and Watches Hall) is 60 CNY per person; from November 1 to March 31, the entrance pricing (not including the entrance to Treasure Hall and Clocks and Watches Hall) is 40 CNY per person; entrance pricing to Treasure Hall is 10 CNY per person; entrance pricing to Clocks and Watches Hall is 10 CNY per person; Children under 1.2m (1.2m not included) is free of charge; the elder above 60 years old (60 years old included) are charged 30 CNY per person from April 1 to October 3 and 20 CNY per person from November 1 to March 31. For the latest pricing information, please contact us via email (email@example.com)
- The Forbidden City offers multi-language interpretation service.
- Wumen (午门) is the only entrance to Forbidden City and Shenwumen (神武门) is the only exit.
- It is not allowed to smoke in the Forbidden City.
Interested in visiting the Hall of Great Harmony on a Tour?