Roofs of The Forbidden City, Beijing

Imperial Roofs

The Forbidden City, imperial palaces in Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties (1644-1911), is famous not only because of the palaces themselves, but also its architecture style. It stands for the culmination of the development of classical Chinese and East Asian architecture and influences the development of Chinese architecture.

Traditional roofs had different forms at different stages of history. There were various roof styles with functional features, a hierarchy of designs, and exquisite details. The color has its own culture. Yellow and red are the two main colors. Yellow, meaning respect in Chinese culture, was widely used on roofs of most palaces (this color is only used by imperial families). Besides, the roofs of the residence of imperial children are green. The red walls stand for emperors’ hope of national stability.