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Home > Attractions > Cultural

Daming Palace Site of Tang Dynasty

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Daming Palace was the main royal palace in Tang Dynasty (618-907) where Tang emperors lived and dealt with state affairs. It featured super-large scale and magnificent buildings.

The palace was located on high land in Longshou, in the northeast of Chang'an City (today's Xian). Covering a large area of 1.2 square miles, it measured 1.6 miles long and 0.9 miles wide. Originally, the Emperor Li Shimin built it as the summer palace for his father, the Emperor Li Yuan. The palace had nine gates. The whole layout was composed of two areas, Qian Chao where emperors held court, and Nei Ting used for living and recreation.

Qian Chao comprised three palaces: Hanyuan Palace where grand ceremonies were held, Xuanzheng Palace where emperors administered state affairs, and Zichen Palace where ministers were presented to meet the emperor. Among them, Hanyuan Palace was the most famous and greatest.

Hanyuan Palace was the main palace, located about 656 yards from Danfeng Gate, the middle south gate of Daming Palace. In the Tang Dynasty, it was an important international exchange center. On every New Year's Day, the emperors would hold great ceremonies there, and welcome ambassadors from various countries and the surrounding minorities. This majestic building reflected the great Tang Dynasty's prosperous and broad culture and represented the highest architectural level of that time.

The north part of Daming Palace was the garden areas for living and recreation. Linde Palace, located in the northwest of the Daming Palace, was the biggest attached palace. It was the place where emperors held banquets and received ambassadors. Built in rammed-earth construction, the site measured 142 yards long and over 87 yards wide. Taiye Pond, also called Penglai Pond was an oval-shaped pond, covering an area of 1.6 hectare. As beautiful as a fairyland, the royal pond absorbed the essence of Tang's garden architecture.

The palace also had countless attractive and elegant attached buildings - pavilions, towers, and corridors. It is said that the Forbidden City was built according to the layout of Daming Palace. But to everyone's disappointment, this grand palace was burned out in the flames of war at the end of the Tang Dynasty. The cruel war left only the desolate and ruined site for us to imagine its glorious past.

Since 1950s, the archaeology work to Daming Palace has begun, and by far remarkable achievements have been gained through all experts' hard work. Besides the exploration in full scale, the experts made more efforts to unearth the sites of Hanyuan Palace, Linde Palace, Sanqing Palace, Xuanwu Gate and Chongquan Gate. In 1961, the State Council declared it as the national key cultural relic protection unit.

The site of Daming Palace is located in the present Long Shou Yuan, in the north of Xian. Luckily, the Xian Government decided to build a memorial park of Daming Palace which will be opened to public in 2010. The decision will give everyone attracted by the Tang Dynasty's charm a chance to appreciate the authentic Tang culture.

Admission: The admission fee for Hanyuan Palace is 25 yuan, and the admission fee for Linde Palace is 10 yuan.

Opening hours: It opens from 9 am to 5 pm.

How to get there: You can take Bus No. 2, 16, 17, 22, 38, 46, 104, 209, 216, 309, 517, 528, 703, 707, 708, 717, 723, 913 to Hanyuan Palace. You can take Bus No. 26, 33, 36, 37, 39, 107, 117, 202, 214, 228, 236, 238, 310, 336, 506, 509, 511, 519, 600, 601, 609, K618, 705, 708, 711, 719, 723, 912 to Longshou Village Station to Linde Palace.
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You can feel the strong and prosperous Tang Dynasty there.

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