The Forbidden City
Large Stone Carving

The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

The Large Stone Carving

On the ascents and descents to the raised marble platforms there are large stone carvings forming ramps flanked by stairs. The emperor would be carried in his sedan over the stone carving and was the only person allowed to pass over it.


The gate to the Inner Court can be seen across the courtyard
QianQingMen, Gate of Celestial Purity).

The largest stone carving lies on the descent from the raised platform of the Outer Court, heading north towards the Inner Court, behind the Hall of Preserved Harmony.


The carvings always involved the dragon, symbol of celestial power and the emperor.


This single stone is 16.75 meters long, 3.07 meters wide and 1.7 meters thick. It weighs more than 200 tonnes. Quarried from the FangShan mountains west of Beijing, it was heaved to the Forbidden City using logs in summer and by pouring water along the way in winter till it froze and sliding the huge block along the ice. It was put in place at the time the three main Halls were built around 1418.


In 1761, Emperor QianLong ordered that the original carvings be hewn away and replaced with new designs. At the bottom are curling waves and above there are nine dragons playing in the clouds. Around the edge are interlocking lotus flowers.


Next : The Gate of Celestial Purity

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

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