A new online exhibition featuring the Palace Museum, one of the world’s most renowned cultural heritage sites, was unveiled by Google Arts & Culture on Dec 8, aiming to allow people from around the world to explore parts of the famous site virtually.
Visitors can enjoy a 360-degree virtual tour of three main structures—the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Meridian Gate, and the Gate of Supreme Harmony. Moreover, 19 new online exhibitions with high-resolution images of thrones and decorations in the Palace Museum will be launched, with some of the displayed items not usually being accessible to visitors. These include rare paintings that show the splendor of life in the Forbidden City, such as Album Leaf from the Grand Wedding of the Guangxu Emperor, which is being displayed online for the first time.
The Forbidden City, known today as the Palace Museum, is celebrating the 600th anniversary of the completion of the compound's construction. This year also marks the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the museum, the largest in China and home to more than 1.8 million cultural treasures.
It served as the imperial palace during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1368) dynasties. As the center of the Chinese empire, the Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors. In December 1987, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has since become one of the country's leading cultural attractions, drawing millions of visitors every year.