The Nei Ting, or Inner Court of the Imperial Palace of Beijing is considered to be the Space between Qian Qing Men - The Gate of Heavenly Purity in the
South and the Shenwu Men - the
This page was last updated on: June 24, 2017
Landmarks, Monuments, Hotspots
- Forbidden City District -
[ Back to Top of Page ]
Go to webring
Nei Ting - Inner Court
Central Axis Palace of Heavenly Purity
Qianlong's Reigning Palace of Peace & Tranquillity (or Peace & Happiness depending on translation)
Central Axis Palace of Heavenly Purity
Go visit the Clocks & Watches Collection of the Palace Museum ! at
To Main Menu of All Websites at DrBen.Net
The Western  Palace of Great Supremacy
View the Exterior and Interior of the Hall of State Unity !
Interiors of the Palace of Heavenly Purity (Inner Court).
Click to Enlarge !!
Go to Satellite View of The Palace Museum of Beijing (2 Maps !)
The Palace Museum - Inner & Outer Imperial Palace Perimeter Map,Quick Navigate using this unique satellite image overview of the Palace Museum Perimeter and the greater Imperial Palace Area.
The Eastern Palace & Hall of Abstinence
Visit the Hall of Abstinence !!
Head North towards the Palace Garden along the Eastern Long Corridor !
Head North towards the Palace Garden along the Western Long Corridor
View of Jingshan and its Park looking North along the Imperial Cities'  Central Axis from ShenWu Men, the Northern Gate of Divine Military Might.
- the Gate of Divine Might in The North.
immediatly behind the Hall of Preserving Harmony (Bao He Dian) of the Outer Court, from which white marble steps and the largest dragon carved stone in China lead toward the Entrance
One of the Impressive Golden Lions standing outside of Qian Qing Men - the Gate of Heavenly Purity. Two lions guard the richly decorated Gate and Entrance of the Inner Court of the Palace.
Click to Enlarge !
Leading North on both sides adjacent to the Three Central Halls are the Western Long Corridor and the Eastern Long Corridor. These Long Corridors lead North-ward towards the Palace Garden - Yi Huan Yuan, meanwhile separating off side-alleys leading either to the Central Halls and Axis or away to one of the 6 Palaces of that side of the Palace Complex. It is a virtual Labyrinth !!!!
The Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qian Qing Gong) - the Main Hall of the Inner Court guarded by the Impressive and Colorful Gate of Heavenly Purity, the main ceremonial access Gate to the Inner Court.
The Inner Court is the most complex and architecturally innovative part of the Palace. Within are 12 different palaces, 6 Palaces of the West (Xi Liu Gong) and 6 Palaces of the East (Dong Liu Gong). Furthermore, on the Central Axis in between of these 12 Palaces and lined by two north-south corridors stand the Main Three Halls.
of the Qing Dynasty in the East. Recently, it was still under conservation but today most of its interiors are open to the Public.

Some of the more minor but interesting features of the Inner Court are the Rain Flower Pavilion with its miraculous design and Golden Dragons on the Roof, The Lodge of Fresh Fragrance Theatre, due West of the Yu Huan Yuan Palace Garden - a Theatre Favored by Cixi on her 60Th Birthday, and the Shou An Palace of the far Western Corner of the Inner Court. The Shou An Palace has its own Garden - the Ying Hua Tien with rockeries rivaling the Main Garden - Yu Huan Yuan (described below). All of these are as yet not opened to the Public, but the Yellow Tiled Tower can be viewed from the Courtyards of the Western Palaces of the Inner Court.
In East, architecturally out of sync with the Inner Court and wider Palace some further structures enrich the Museum. Among these : the Nine Dragon Screen (Jiu Long Bi) - a part of the Huge Palace of Peaceful Old Age where the Imperial Treasures & Gifts Museum is located, the Exercise Field and Archery Pavilion and the Chapel of Serving the Ancestors - Feng Xian Dian, the home of the Clocks & Watches Museum.

In these Palaces the Ming and Qing Emperors lived, backed by their Empresses, surrounded by the Princes Palaces and served by the Eunuchs and Concubines in adjacent Quarters.
During the (later) Qing Dynasty official Court was also held inside the Inner Court. The reigning Palace of Empress-Dowager Hsu-Tzi and of Last Emperor Pu Yi was the Mind Cultivation Palace (Yang Xin Dian). It is one of the finest Palaces of the Inner Court. Located in the South-West of the Inner Court, it is the first Palace accesible through the Western Long Corridor.
In Symetry with the Outer Court, the Inner Court also has Three Major Palace Halls. From South to North these are the Qian Qing Gong - Palace of Heavenly Purity, the JiaoTai Dian, Hall of Blending of Great Creative Forces (Unity) and the Kun Ning Gong - Palace of Earthly Tranquility. There are several other major Palaces though. On the outside of the Three Halls and 12 Palaces, in the East and West there are two further large Palaces. These Palaces, out of symetry, are the Chun Ning Gong - Palace of Kindness & Tranquility and the Ningshou Gong - Palace of Peaceful Old Age.
One of the Famous Palaces of the Inner Court, the Palace of Peaceful Old Age is the retirement Palace of the Qianlong Emperor
Click to Enlarge !
View along the Western Long Corridor of the Inner Court. From here a maze of small alley-ways and courtyards extends north-ward. In the background the pavilions of Jingshan loom over the Imperial Palace Grounds.
The Western Palaces (Xi Liu Gong) of the Inner Court are accessible through a Decorated Gate located due West of Qian Qing Men - The Gate of Heavenly Purity. From Here the Western Long Corridor leads Northward towards the Imperial Garden.
The First Palace in the West, on the left Hand in the Long Corridor is the Yang Xin Dian or Palace of Mental Cultivation (and Ti Shun Tang). As mentioned above, the Mental Cultivation Palace was the Reigning Palace of the Qing Dynasty, the home of the Qianlong Emperor and last used by
An Empty Courtyard in Front of the Gate of the Palace of the Cultivation of the Mind - Yan Xin Dian. In the background the roof of the Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qian Qing Gong) is visible.
The Eastern Palaces of the Inner Court (Dong Liu gong) are accesible through the Eastern Long Corridor and through corridors leading away from the Central Palaces. In
Click to Enlarge !
A ceramic Double Dragon Motif on a Screen Wall, part of the Yang Xin Dian - Palace of Mental Cultivation.
The Palace of Heavenly Purity - Qian Qing Gong, was during the Ming Dynasty the living Quarters and Residence Palace of the Emperor. Only on rare occasions High Officials would be escorted to the Palace to meet with the Emperor in Person. Later, during the Ming Dynasty it diminished in importance considerably and it was mainly used for the practicing of Inner Court religious ceremonies.
During the Qing Dynasty, the Palace of Heavenly Purity was mainly abandoned, except for Official Ceremony. Due to its traditional ceremonial importance, it was also the Palace where the Ching Emperors would lie in State, after their Death.
The Interior of the Palace of Heavenly Purity mainly features a Richly Decorated Throne. Above the Throne hangs a Plaque with the
The Hall of Union or Literally translated Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union is the Middle Hall, standing between the Palace of Heavenly Purity and the Palace of Earthly Tranquility (Kun Ning Gong). It is much smaller in size than the other Palace Halls. This small square Hall was mainly used as a storage room. During the Ching Dynasty it was the Ceremonial Storage Room of the Highly Important Imperial Seals, the conveyors of Imperial Powers and Edicts. Today it is once more in use as such. Currently 25 of such Imperial Seals, of Emperors and Empresses, are stored at the Hall of Unity among a golden silk covered interior with plentiful dragons
Click to Enlarge !
Double Happiness Decorations from the Imperial Bedroom at the Yi Kun Gong.
Inscription : "Justice and Honor". It was behind this plaquette that the secret edicts of the Emperor designating the Crown prince would be hidden, to be recovered only after the Emperors Death, a practice invented by Emperor Kangxi (Reign: 1661 AD - 1722 AD) of the Qing Dynasty.
The Eastern adnex Halls of the Palace of Heavenly Purity are the home of the Palaces permanent exhibition on historic chinese bronzes and their casting.
The Palace of Earthly Tranquility - Kun Ning Gong was the main residential Palace of the Ming Dynasty Emperors. Where the Emperor on rare occasions would receive his Highest Ministers at the Palace of Heavenly Purity, None were allowed here at the Palace of Earthly Tranquility. This was the most private Palace of all.
Later, during the Qing Dynasty the Court offered its daily sacrifices in Rituals of Manchu Lamaism at this Important Hall. The Grand Nuptuals, the Imperial Wedding, was also held at the Palace of Earthly Tranquility. This is the Palace Hall where the Qing Emperors KangXi, Tongzhi and Guangxu and their Empresses had their wedding ceremonies. The Palace consists of a large and wide room flanked by two smaller side-rooms in the east and four side-rooms in the west. In one of these the actual Bridal Bed of the Empress with the traditional 100 children design is still on display. Other interesting  pieces of furniture, beautifuly decorated, abound.
and ancient inscriptions and caligraphy.
A walk at the Palace of Blessings to Mother Earth ...
Browse around the Palace of Eternal Spring ?
Browse around the Palace of Eternal Spring ?
Coming Soon !!
a Pavilion adjacent but outside of the Decorated Eastern Gate of Eastern Long Corridor of the Inner Court the notorious Starbucks Outlet inside the Forbidden City was located. This has however been closed in summer of 2007. Pass through the Gate and through the Long Corridor to find the Eastern Palaces in symetry with the
Western Palaces. The First Palace in the Eastern Section of the Inner Court is the Hall of Abstinence (Zhai Gong), flanked by the Palace of Bringing Forth of Blessings (Yu Ching Gong), which in the last days of the Qing Dynasty functioned as Emperor Pu Yi's School Building. Adjacent lies another Eastern Palace, the Chapel of Imperial Ancestors (Feng Xian Dian). Behind these three magnificent Palaces lie the Six Palaces of the East.
Visit the the Palace of Bringing Forth of Blessings, The Ancestral Chapel, the Archery Grounds (Jian Chang) and Pavilion and the Far Eastern Palace of Peaceful Old Age, via the Gate of Prospect and Good Fortune (Jing Yun Men). The Hall of Abstinence is only accesible through the Long Corridor of the East.
The Six Palaces of the East are in succession : The Palace of Great Benevolence (Jing Ren Gong), the Jingsi Gong, The Palace of the Treasures of the Sky (Chien Qian Gong), The Palace of Eternal Harmony (YungHe Gong), Chung Tsei Gong and the Palace of the Great or Radiant Yang (Ying Yang Gong).
Behind the 6 Eastern Palaces lies one more hidden Estate. This is the Palace of Inheriting Heaven (Xuan Qiong Bao Dian), in the far North-Eastern Corner of the Inner Court's Eastern Palaces.
The North-Eastern Palaces of the Inner Court were mainly in use as residences of the various Imperial Concubines. Today they are the location of many of the Permanent as well as Temporary Exhibitions of the Palace Museum.
The Palace of Peaceful Old Age. The 18Th Century retirement Palace of the Powerful and Succesful Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty can be considered one of the most exquisite parts of the Palace Museum. Located due East of the Inner Court and even the Eastern Palaces, this large section of the Palace Museum was the secluded retreat of the Emperor after his official abdication in 1796 AD. The main halls of the Palace were symbolically modelled after the Central Halls of the Inner Court, signifying the Power of the Retired Emperor, who for a long time could
The Huge Palace Complex, larger then the Central Halls and the Palace Garden combined is lavishly decorated and very well designed. No expense was shyed in its creation and its interior decorations are said to be among the greatest treasures of the entire Palace Museum and of incredible historic value. As much of the Palace had been sealed up for years, preservation activities at the Palace have only recently been completed. The Palace is however open to the Public. Among its features is a large 3 layered Peking Opera Theatre known as the Pavilion of Cheerful Melodies, the well where the Guangxu's Emperors' favorite Concubine Zhen Fei came to her violent end (Zhenfei Well), a place known as the "Ancient Flowery Porch" and many more unexpected pavilions, architecture, art pieces or exhibits.
Ceramic Screen Wall decoration at the Inner Court
Click to Enlarge Further
Large Scale Map o/t Palace Museum, all structures.
--> Click Map to Open in Seperate Window !!
Click to Enlarge !
Visitors gawk at the colossal Nine Dragon Screen, part of the Palace of Peaceful Old Age (Ning Shou Gong) of the Eastern Inner Court, now the Clocks & Watches Exhibition of the Palace Museum Inventory.
not resist the urge to "advise" his son the Jiaqing Emperor, who by then
was of respectable age himself (60+ years).
The Six Palaces of the West are in succession : The Palace of Immortality / Longevity (Yong Shou Gong), The Palace & Hall of Great Supremacy (Tai Yi Dian) with the Hall of State Unity (Ti Yuan Dian), The Palace of Giving Blessings to Mother Earth (Yi Kun Gong), The Palace of Eternal Spring (Chang Chun Gong), the Hall of Manifest Harmony (Ti He Dian) adjacent of which the Yi Qing (Gong) Study and in the far North of this section, the Palace of Gathering Excellence (Chu Xiu Gong) and the Palace of Established Happiness (Qian Fu Gong).
During the Qing Dynasty, the Central Halls of the Inner Court no longer functioned as the Home of The Emperor but the residential Palace(s) of The Emperor were moved to the North-Western Palaces. Hence, these are among some of the Finest Palaces and Halls of the complex.
Empress-Dowager Hsu-Tzi, then by Last Emperor, the boy Pu Yi. Among things, the Yang
Xin Dian is the Palace where the Empress-Dowagers' sat behind the Throne during the so-called "Reign behind a Curtain" ( See History of the Qing Dynasty).
Behind this large and lavishly decorated Palace stand the 6 Palaces of the West.
Ceramic Decorated Gates, connecting passages and alleys form the Maze of the Inner Court.
One of the Carved Jade Treasures on display at the Palace of Immortality, the Yong Shou Gong.
The Palace of Immortality / Longevity (Yong Shou Gong) is the first Palace to be reached from the Inner Court Access Square through the Western Long Corridor. Pass through the large ceremonial Gate inside the Long Corridor marking the separation between the frontal Palace of Mental
The next of the Six Palaces of the West is the Palace & Hall of Great Supremacy (Tai Yi Dian) with the Hall of State Unity (Ti Yuan Dian). The Palace of Great Supremacy is the South-Western most of the Six Palaces and is hidden behind the Palace of Immortality. Although most easily reached by entering the West Parallel Corridor from the South, currently this gate usually remains closed and the route for Tourists is as above through the Western Long Corridor to the Gate of the Palace of Immortality, then from there continue due West to enter the Palace of Great Supremacy through its own Gate followed by an access alley leading to its large frontal Courtyard.
Cultivation (Yang Xin Dian) and the Six Palaces of the West.
Turn into the first left-hand Main Gate to find yourself inside of the frontal Alley giving access to both the Palace of Immortality and the Gate and Palace of Great Supremacy beyond. To make matters complex, the frontal access alleys of both Palaces are separated by further decorated Gates in between of which the southern length of what is known as the Western Parallel Corridor. This Corridor runs North-South between the Six Western Palaces creating inter-connections on both sides, very useful for eunuchs and court servants but not easy for first time visitors.

In the Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD), this entire area of the Palace was reserved for the Emperors use only. As a result each Palace is different and famous for either its decorations, its architecture or its history. Or all of those. Today the Palace of Immortality is the home of the Precious Jade Treasures Exhibition of the Palace Museum.
From the Frontal Courtyard one can explore the interiors of the Palace, or walk around to find the Hall of State Unity (Ti Yuan Dian), behind which lies yet another Courtyard.
Through minor Gates in the back Courtyard of the Hall of State Unity connects through to the North and the next row of Palaces. Here you will find yourself suddenly inside the Palace of Eternal Spring (Chang Chun Gong).
Both the Hall of the Great Supremacy and the Hall of State Unity were in
The Middle two Palaces of the Six Palaces of the West are the Palace of Giving Blessings to Mother Earth (Yi Kun Gong) and the Palace of Eternal Spring (Chang Chun Gong). The Northern
The Northern-most two Palaces of the Six Palaces of the West are the Palace of Gathering Excellence (Chu Xiu Gong) and the Palace of Complete (or Established) Happiness (Qian Fu Gong). Both of these were the Residential Palaces of the Imperial High Consorts of the Qing Dynasty.
Inter-connecting Passages connect the Palace to the Palace of Giving Blessings to Mother Earth (Yi Kun Gong) in the South. As a result one can enter the Palace in the South through passageways from the Hall of Manifest Harmony (Ti He Dian), the lavishly furnished Concubines' Quarters behind Hall of Giving Blessings to Mother Earth (Yi Kun Dian). The other route to the Palace of Gathering Excellence is from the East through the Northern Most stretch of the Western Long Corridor.
The Chu Xiu - Gathering Excellence Palace is the site of one of the ancient Folk Tales that relate to the Court Affairs inside the secluded Palace. It is the Tale of "The Red Crowned Crane at the Chu Xiu Palace", a short tale about a Crane Bird and the Qianlong Emperor.
The Palace of Gathering Excellence further was the residential Palace of Hsu-Tzi during her Time as reigning Empress-Dowager. During her long Time at this Palace she gradually made a name for herself as "The Dragon Lady", a ruthless and sadistic ruler, finally to go down in history as the undoer of the Qing Dynasty and the most hated Feudal Lady of the Land.
For her 50Th birthday the Empress-Dowager spend a huge amount of cash and the interiors of both the Hall of Manifest Harmony and the Hall of Gathering Excellence are of a lavish foreign inspired design modern for the Times. All Halls in the Palace were reserved for the Empress-Dowager Hsu-Tzi during her Reign behind and over the TongZhi Emperor and Guanxu Emperor, leaving even the Last Hall of the Palace, the LiJing Xuan richly decorated.
Webstyle produced NavBar
Click Image to Enlarge !
service as residence quarters for the Imperial Concubines, during both Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Interior designs of the Palace of Eternal Spring (Chang Chun Gong), another of the Imperial Concubines Residential Quarters.
Click to Enlarge !
Front of Coin commemorating the Life and Reign of Empress-Dowager Hsu Tzi, who was behind the Tongzhi and Guanxu Reigns of the Ching Dynasty.
Courtyard behind the Hall of Giving Blessings to Mother Earth directly connects it to the Northern Palace of Gathering excellence via several open passages in the back.
The Palace is open to the Public with small Exhibition of the belongings and sumptuous furniture of the Empress-Dowager inside the several Halls of the Complex and the interiors of the other Halls can be gleaned through windows and open doors.
Hidden away in the north-western hind-corner pavilion of the Palace of Gathering Excellence, inside the very last Pavilion there is a small but interesting Exhibition on the Last Emperor Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi (XuanTong). Here one can find the Emperors glasses, the famed bicycle he rode inside the Forbidden City and other Pu Yi parafernelia.
Emperor XuanTong
The Huge Dragon Stone Slab - largest in the Palace, North & Behind BoaHe Dian in the Inner Court Entrance Square.
Glazed Archway of Imperial College Bejing, China
Glazed Archway of Imperial College Bejing, China Photographic Print
Weymouth, Phil
Go to Next Page !
[ Back to Top of Page ]
Back to Top of Page !
This page was last updated on: June 24, 2017
My Great Web page
Find DrBen and ChinaReport on Facebook with the latest from
DrBen Nijhoff | Maak je eigen badge
The Entrance point of the Inner Court is the lavishly decorated Gate of Heavenly Purity (Qian Qing Men) (see Image), which is fronted by a large Square located
- The Palace Museum (1) Main Index and Introduction
- The Palace Museum (2) Earliest History of the Imperial Palace of Beijing
                                      (3) Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1924 AD)

- The Palace Museum (4) Wider Perimeter, Outer Walls & Gates of The Imperial City
- The Palace Museum (5) Outer Walls & Gates of the Palace, the "Purple Forbidden
- The Palace Museum (6) Wai Chou - Outer Court
- The Palace Museum (7) Nei Ting - Inner Court
- The Palace Museum (8) Yu Huan Yuan - Main Palace Garden
- The Palace Museum (9) Palace Museum Collections & Exhibitions
- The Palace Museum (10) Architectural Structures
The Entrance from the North and ShenwuMen
Tourguides and Sourcebooks to The Forbidden City, at China Report Online Store
Source Book "Tour to the Forbidden City"
( no longer available )
Yu Huan Yuan - Imperial Palace Garden
The Yu Huan Yuan, or Palace Garden in the Palace Museum is found in the Northern Half, where it is part of the Nei Ting, or Inner Court. The Palace Garden was the largest but certainly not the only Garden inside the Palace and Forbidden City. Not all, but many of the larger North-Western, as well as North-Eastern Palaces have or had their own smaller garden or rockeries.
Furthermore, the Imperial Family had extensive and exclusive access to various other Parks & Gardens. First there was JingShan Park, just North of the Palace. Then there was Bei Hai Park and the Imperial Yong An Temple due West of the Forbidden City. BeiHai connects South to the Middle Lakes Zhong Hai and Na Hai in which the Yingtai (Water Terrace Pavilion) Island on which the Guanxu Emperor was held captive. This is now the ZhongNanHai Complex, the reclusive Chinese Leadership compound dubbed the new Forbidden City.
Further away on the outskirts there were two Summer Palaces. Of these today only the YiHeYuan Summer Palace remains. The older Palace, just East of the
English Tutor to Last Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Pu Yi (Xuan
Tung). Currently,  it is not open to the Public. The most treasured structure in the Palace Gardens however is the central Palace of Imperial Peace. The Palace of Imperial Peace is surrounded by its own red chalked walls which are decorated with Colorful Ceramic depictions of animals and pierced by a colorful ceremonial gate that is guarded by a set of small golden Chinese unicorns. It is a magnificent little jewel inside an otherwise already impressive garden.
The Palace Garden further features the necessary smaller open pavilions, wooden halls, many old trees, stone rockeries, garden ponds and its own look-out mountain with a small Temple on Top.

The quickest and shortest route to the Palace Garden is the one through the Palace North Gate - Shen Wu Men in the outer wall, then directly south into the Garden through Chun Cheng Men in the Inner Wall.
During the Qing Dynasty this route was used in an assasination attempt on the Emperor.
new location, was burnt down in 1900 AD by invading forces during the "Boxer War" and only a Park with remnants remains. Last but not least there was even a Qing Dynasty mountain retreat far away in Chengde, North Hebei Province to play around in.

There are several Hall and Lodges inside the Palace Gardens. Internationally, the Most Famous of these is the Lodge of the Nourishment of Nature, Yang Xing Chai, along the Western Wall of the Garden. This Lodge was the Palace Home of Sir Reginald Fleming Johnston , the
Burning of Imperial Palace - The Sequel to the "Reign Behind a Curtain".
Review coming soon !
Naturally the Garden is also accessible from the Central Residential Palaces of the Emperor. Enter from the Palace of Earthly Tranquility (Kun Ning Gong), through the decorated Gate of Earthly Tranquility to move directly into the Green. Other historic moments in the Garden include the First Tennis Match played in the Forbidden City, in the Garden and organized by Reginald Johnston as demonstration to his pupil, the young Emperor Pu Yi.

Go to Next Page !
Inside the Main Hall of Imperial Supremacy, some of the Imperial Treasures and Gifts are on display. Behind and west of the Main Halls is the magnificent "Qianlong Garden", a world-famous small green world within itself inlcuding over 20 pavilions, and in the back of the Palace there are several other lesser Pavilions and Halls. It is very worthwhile a visit ! Start at the Nine Dragon Screen and dwell Northward to explore all of it.
Return to Forbidden City Main Index
Tweets about "Beijing Palace Museum"
Beijing Landmarks
Beijing Introduction
Beijing Online Sources
Beijing Home
Beijing Hotels
Beijing Maps
Beijing Public Transport
City Province Transport
Beijing by District(s)
6 Outer Suburbs
TiananMen Square
Alphabetical Order
By Function(s)
Forbidden City
Hebei Province
Hebei Province Home
China Offline Sources Home
China Report Home
China Online Sources
China Online Store
China Maps
China Photo Galleries
China Report Club
4 Rural Districts