This was once the focus of all creation, standing at the centre of the world ,the universe and the mind of god.For 500 years it sheltered a court dedicated to previllege and power. It was built for one man--the son of heaven.But it was also a palace and a prison in one, and at the best of times and the worst of times, it was hard to tell them apart. In the end, here was a dynasty expected to last forever until time brought it all to a close.--This is the Forbidden City.
In the year 1688,the government official from Anhui Province arrived in Beijing. His name was Yan Shuyang. He had travelled almost a thousand miles, a journey of thirty days. The last mile he walked alone without his servants, without transports, for beyond the gate was the Great within-- the Forbidden City.
We konw about the Yan's audience because everything that happened inside this gate was obsessively written down or an stored. Funeral orration, dinner menus,decorations of wall, all here in the imperial archy of 15,000,000 manuscripts. This attention to details was one defining feature of the Forbidden City. Harmony with universe was another, when that harmony was disturbed it meant dynasties could collapse.As a youny man, Yan has seen the 300-year-old Ming Dynasty fell after an ecllipse of the son.