The hall served mostly ceremonial purposes such as coronations, imperial weddings, investitures, conferring dowager titles, imperial banquets, morning councils, and military ceremonies. One of the best preserved temples, the monumental architecture of the Tiantam Temple aims to convey the ideal human-heaven relationship in traditional Chinese thought. On the west is the Zhaigong Palace, the place where the emperors fasted prior to the ceremonies. The Forbidden City was founded over the site of the former Yuan capital of Dadu. It was also where the bureaucratic offices, the various departments and ministries that assisted the emperors in the administration of the state, were located. Synthesis and Departure in Tradition:
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The Tiantan Temple situates in the south of the Forbidden City. On the north of the Three Palaces are the 128×1024 Hall and the Yuhuayuan Imperial Garden where the emperors would take their leave from court 180×1024. The Qianqinggong Palace had functioned as the residence for the emperors until the early Qing dynasty, and became the new audience hall after the Yongzheng emperor relocated his residence to the Yangxindian Hall.
A long corridor connects the Kunming Lake with the Wanshoushan Hill.
The three palaces on the central axis, preceded by the Qianqinggong Palace and followed by the Jiaotaidian Hall and the Kunninggong Palace, are referred together as the “Three Great Palaces” of the Inner Court. The City was bound by a moat outside of the city wall and guarded by four gates: A red-carpeted staircase stretched out from its front gate to a large courtyard where the officials would line up and perform the ritual of kowtow to the emperor. On the terrace of the staircase are a sundial, a standard measure, two pairs of turtles and cranes, and eighteen bronze ding vessels, symbolizing longevity for the emperor and eternity for the empire.
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It was also where the bureaucratic offices, the various departments and ministries that assisted the emperors in the administration of the state, were located. The Qianqinggong Palace sits behind the Qianqingmen Gate, the main entrance to the Inner Court and also the place where the emperors listened to reports from the officials. The winding corridor spans between the Yaoyuemen Gate in 1280×124 east and the Shizhangting Pavilion in the west, looking over the lake with lavishly painted decorations on its beams and ceilings.
Connecting the main buildings in the north and south is the Danbiqiao Bridge. On the west is the Zhaigong Palace, the place where the emperors fasted prior to the ceremonies. The Forbidden City was founded over the site of the former Yuan capital of Dadu.