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Hall of Complete Harmony - Zhonghedian

Zhonghedian, the Hall of Central Harmony, also called Zhonghedian, was originally built in 1420 and restored in 1627 and again 1765.

Hall of Complete Harmony , is a square building with a single pyramid roof. It contains a throne with incense burners and braziers in front of it.

It is square in shape rather than rectangular as the other two in the Outer Court. It is the smallest in the three main halls in the Outer Court. Hall of Complete Harmony (Zhonghedian) served as a place of rest for the emperor on his way to the Hall of Supreme Harmony. It was here that they consulted with their religious ministers. Each year prior to their departure for important sacrificial rites at the Temple of Heaven, the Temple of the Earth or elsewhere, they would read elegiac addresses. The emperor also received members of the cabinet and officials in the Ministry of Rites, and rehearsals for ceremonies were also held here. Before going to the Temple of the Ancestral Farmers, they would inspect the seeds and farming tools to be used during the ceremony. During the Qing dynasty the imperial genealogy was revised every ten years. A special ceremony was conducted in this hall so that the revision could be presented to His Majesty for approval.

Inside the Hall of complete Harmony (Zhonghedian), visitors can see a pair of golden unicorns standing on either side of the centrally positioned throne. Called 'luduan' in Chinese, these were believed to be multilingual and capable of travelling 9,000 kilometres in just one day. Due to their extraordinary abilities, effigies of these mythical beasts, which served also as sandalwood burners, were put beside the throne as a symbol of the emperors' great wisdom and intelligence. Beside the throne, there are two sedan chairs, that were used to shuttle emperors around the Forbidden City.

The building to the north is Baohedian (Hall of Preserved Harmony). 

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