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Gate of Heavenly Purity - Qianqingmen of Forbidden City

Gate of Heavenly Purity, also called Qianqingmen (Gate of Celestial Purity) is the main entrance to the inner court. In front of the gate, there is a square which runs 200 meters long from east to west and extends only 30 meters from north to south. The square separates the Outer Court and the Inner Court and integrates them. 

The Qing emperors sometimes give audience to government officials here. There used to be a throne in the gate. The emperor sat there and listened to reports from officials. This ceremony was held to show that the emperor attached great importance to the state affairs. 

North of the Gate of heavenly purity is the inner court, the living quarters for the emperor and his royal family. The three halls on the central north-south axis, the heart of this area, are surrounded by six eastern palaces and six western palaces, just like a myriad of stars surrounding the moon. 

Outside of the gate, against the red wall are ten gilded bronze vats, shining. The huge vats are decorations and reservoirs in case of fire. Every one of these vats weighs 4 tons itself and can hold 4 tons water. There are totally 308 vats in the whole palace, including 22 of this kind.

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