Forbidden City
Hall of Preserving Harmony

The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

The Hall of Preserving Harmony

The Hall of Preserving Harmony (BaoHeDian), sits on the northern end of the three-tier marble terrace of the Outer Court, similar in style but a bit smaller than the Hall of Supreme Harmony but larger than the Hall of Complete Harmony.

It was first built in 1420, rebuilt in 1625 and renovated in 1765.


During the Ming dynasty, emperors would often prepare for ceremonies here, practicing speeches and changing clothes; for example, before the ceremonies of conferring the title of Empress or Crown Prince. During the Qing dynasty, imperial banquets would usually be given here. To celebrate a princess's marriage, emperors would invite high officials, the bridegroom and his father, and any relatives who have served the imperial government to a banquet. Every New Year's Eve, banquets would be held to feast and honor margraves, Mongol princes and civil and military officials.


Steps leading down from the raised marble platform.
The Hall of Preserving Harmony can be seen on the right;
on the left is the Hall of Complete Harmony.

In 1789, during the middle of the Qing dynasty, Emperor QianLong moved the Palace Examination, the highest level and final stage of the nationwide imperial examination system, from the Hall of Supreme Harmony to this hall. Emperors would read the papers of the top ten candidates to honor them.

There were four levels of examinations, namely: the county level, the provincial level, the national level and the Palace Examinations. Those who survived the palace exam would get the title of 'Doctor' (Jin Shi), and their status and wealth were assured. This examination system started in the Han Dynasty. It was suspended every now and then and was finally abolished in 1904.

In 1898, the Capital University (Beijing University) was established, and about the same time, China sent students to study in foreign countries like Japan and France. In 1911, QingHua University, a well known university both at home and abroad, was also established. Thus, the modern Chinese education system began.




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

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The original throne sits in the middle, surrounded by some fine bronzes. This hall was the most decorative of all the halls.


A view of the back of the hall,
from the courtyard between the Inner and Outer Courts.

Next : The Large Stone Carving

Forbidden City


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