The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, For almost five centuries, it served as the home of the Emperor and his household, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government. Built from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,707 bays of rooms and covers 720,000 square metres (7,800,000 square feet). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. After being the home of 24 emperors—fourteen of the Ming Dynasty and ten of the Qing Dynasty—the Forbidden City ceased being the political centre of China in 1912 with the abdication of Puyi, the last Emperor of China.
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