The Forbidden City was the political and ceremonial center of the Chinese empire for 500 years.

It is the largest palace complex in the world, covering an area of over 72 hectares of land in mainland China

The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is now a popular tourist destination

The Forbidden City is home to over 9,000 rooms, and was once the residence of the emperor and his court

The name "Forbidden City" is actually a misnomer - the palace was open to the public until the early 20th century

The Forbidden City was built between 1406 and 1420, during the reign of the Yongle Emperor

The palace complex was designed by a team of architects and engineers, including the famed Chinese architect Li Jie

The Forbidden City is surrounded by a moat, and has a series of gates and walls that protected it from invaders

The Forbidden City was the setting for the 2008 Olympic opening ceremony, and is featured in many films and TV shows set in China