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Palace of Union and Peace - Jiaotaidian of Forbidden City

Announcing the function of Palace of Union and Peace
Palace of Union and Peace, also called Jiaotaidian in Chinese, was the place that the empresses held important ceremonies or celebrations, such as the conferment of honorable titles and birthday celebrations.

Jiaotaidian, was first built in 1420 and rebuilt in 1655 and 1798 respectively. It looks like Zhonghedian (the Hall of Central Harmony) in shape and is the smallest among the three main palaces in the Inner Court. 

Discover the display of this Palace
Twenty-five seals representing imperial power were kept in the palace of Union and Peace in 1748 during the reign of Qing emperor Qianlong(1736-1795). The number of 25, the total of the odd numbers: one, three, five, seven and nine, was regarded as a heavenly number. To have 25 seals means that the emperor received the authority from Heaven.

The water clock (ancient Chinese water pot-equivalent of sandglass) on the east side in this hall is a time-measuring apparatus made in 1745. The method of keeping time by the dripping of water was invented by the Chinese people more than 2500 years ago. The time-piece consists of five bronze vessels. Each vessel has a small hole at the bottom to drip evenly through the holes. There is a figurine in the lowest container. The calibrated scale in his hands floats with the rising water, and time is indicated on the markings. 

To the west is a western chiming clock made in 1789 by the works of Department of the Board of Imperial Household. 

The two Chinese characters inscribed on the plaque, which hangs in this palace, are "Wu Wei", meaning to govern the country by noninterference, as was done by shun, a legendary sage king in ancient China. Wu Wei is Taoist philosophy, meaning to adapt oneself to the change of nature. Taoist philosophy stressed the oneness and contimuity of the material and spirtual worlds. To Taoists, humanity stands midway between heaven and earth. The feudal ruler used this idea to discourage people from taking action. 

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