Garden Gate photo copyrighted by: Galen R. Frysinger
The Forbidden City was constructed in accordance with ancient rules of spatial
design, first used during the Han dynasty in building the city of Chang'An
(modern XiAn), between 206 BC and AD 220 . Among other things, these rules specified that the principal buildings should be aligned along a straight axis from
south to north, flanked by a symmetrical arrangement of minor structures on
parallel axes. This architectural convention was favourable to YungLo's claim
that his city had symbolic importance. He believed that a centralized configuration
of buildings would also serve as a reflection of the ordered heavens.
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