Imperial Garden (Yu huayuan)

The Imperial Garden was first constructed in 1420 (the 18th year of the Yongle reign period of the Ming Dynasty), and was slightly renovated in the Qing Dyansty. Most of the buildings in the Imperial Garden were constructed in the Jiajiang adn Wanli reign periods of the Ming Dyansty. In the Ming Dynasty, it was known as Gong Hou yuan (Garden in the Rear of the Palace), and since the Qing Dynasty it has been known as the Imperial Palace. The garden is 130 meters wide from east to west, adn 90 meters from south to north, and covers an area of 12,000 squre meters. It is the oldest and largest imperial garden in the Forbidden City. In the garden, several-hundred-year-old pines, cypresses and Chinese wishtaria grow luxuriantly, and exotic stones are scattered here and thee, in addition to various kinds of potted landscapes. Over 20 halls, pavilions and towers in various styles are symmetrically located on the eastern and western sides of the central axis. The paths in the garden area meticulously pave with colored cobbles, in over 900 patterns.

The Imperial Garden is the place where the emperors, empresses and imperial concubines appreciated the scenery and amused themselves. In the Qing Dynasty, girls were selected here for the emperor's harem.

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