Meridian Gate

Meridian Gate (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Meridian Gate (Manchu language: Julergi dulimbai duka) is the southern (and largest) gate of the Forbidden City. It has five arches. The three central arches are close together; the two flanking arches are farther apart from the three central arches. The center arch was formerly reserved for the Emperor alone; the exceptions were the Empress, who could enter it once on the day of her wedding, and the top three scholars of the triennial civil service examinations, who left the exams through the central arch. All other officials and servants had to use the four side arches.

Above the arches are a collection of nine buildings. The Emperor of China reviewed his troops from this location during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Although urban myth has it that senior officers were executed here in Imperial China; in reality only corporal punishment was actually carried out.

Behind the viewer is Tiananmen Gate, the principal entrance to the imperial palace grounds.

When proceeding northward through the palace grounds, the next major gate encountered is the Gate of Supreme Harmony.

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