Forbidden City
Hall of Complete Harmony

The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

The Hall of Complete Harmony

The Hall of Complete Harmony (ZhongHeDian), was originally built in 1420 and restored in 1627 and again in 1765. It is the smallest of the three main halls in the Outer Court and is square in shape rather than rectangular.

The Hall of Complete Harmony served as a rest and preparation room when emperors were going to present ceremonies in the Hall of Supreme Harmony. It was in this hall that the emperor would interview his ministers of rite.



Before their departure to important sacrifice rites held at the Temple of Heaven, Temple of Earth, etc., emperors would rehearse their speeches here. Before their departure to the Temple of Ancestor Farmers, they would also inspect the seeds and farming tools that they would use in the ceremony.


During the Qing dynasty, it was prescribed that the imperial geneology should be revised every ten years. The ceremony of presenting the revision to the emperor would also be held here.


Sometimes the name of this hall is translated as 'Middle Harmony' or 'Central Harmony'.

The meaning is something like : taking the middle road, not an extreme; being balanced; it refers to the old chinese notion of 'The Golden Mean', an idea developed by the disciple of Confucius named Mencius.


Inside the hall, visitors can see a golden unicorn on each side of the throne, which is in the center of the hall. The unicorn, called luduan in Chinese, was believed to be capable of traveling 9,000 kilometers in a day and speaking many languages. Therefore this divine beast was put beside the throne to indicate the emperor's wisdom and brilliance. The golden unicorns also served as sandalwood burners.


Beside the throne, there are also two sedan chairs, which were used to shuttle the emperor around the Forbidden City.


The Hall of Complete Harmony is approached via a raised walkway.

Next : The Hall of Preserving Harmony

Forbidden City

Forbidden City
: Introduction
Forbidden City : History
Forbidden City : Layout
Forbidden City : Map
Getting there

The Meridian Gate (outside)
The Meridian Gate (inside)
The First Courtyard
The Gate of Supreme Harmony

The Second Courtyard
The Hall of Supreme Harmony (part 1)
The Hall of Supreme Harmony (part 2)
The Hall of Complete Harmony
The Hall of Preserving Harmony

The Large Stone Carving

The Gate of Celestial Purity
The Hall of Celestial Purity
The Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union
The Hall of Terrestrial Tranquility
The Imperial Garden
The Imperial Garden (part 2)

The Exhibition Halls
The 9 Dragon Screen
Other Places of Interest

Doorways (part 2)
Decorative Tiles
Beams and Ceilings
Windows and Doors
Walls & Screens

Sunset at the Forbidden City

Beijing Guide

Share this page


Quick Links
Top travel guides

Great Wall of China

Great Wall Beijing

Forbidden City

Summer Palace

Temple of Heaven

Beihai Park

TianAnMen Square

JingShan Park

YuanMingYuan Park


China Travel and Culture Videos Home

BeiJing Travel Guide Home