85 Percent of Forbidden City to Open By 2020

600 years after it was established as an imperial palace, Beijing’s legendary Forbidden City will open more of its space to the public by 2020.

85 percent of the city will be open for visitors to walk through, according to Shan Jixiang, curator of the Palace Museum which is nestled in the Forbidden City.

In the meantime, several buildings will be renovated and some will be removed to make room for more public space.

One building to undergo renovation is a storage room, which will house more than a thousand pieces of wooden furniture made during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1912). These pieces have remained unrepaired and un-displayed since their creation.

Areas expected to open to the public include the Yanchi House at the Meridian Gate, the Palace of Compassion and Tranquility– formerly reserved for China’s empresses, and the entire western section of the Forbidden City.

Currently, about 65 percent of the city is open to sight seers.

Even though more than 15 million people visit the Forbidden City each month, the maximum number of people who can visit per day is limited to 80,000 to reduce demands on the staff and facilities..

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