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Daming Palace Xian

  • It is located in northeast of Xian. It was the royal palace during the Tang Dynasty. For over 220 years, the Daming Palace was the royal residence of the Tang emperors. It has been declared as a Chinese national heritage site.

History

  • The earlier imperial home was the Taiji Palace, constructed during the Sui Dynasty. Ma Zhou charged in 632 that the retired Emperor Gaozu was residing in Da'an Palace to the west, which he considered as an inhospitable spot because it was constructed on low-lying areas of Chang'an which was hot and humid during the summer. In his opinion, whenever Emperor Taizong shifted to the rural area in the summers, his father was left behind. However, his father would not accept any invitation from Emperor Taizong. Since the bloody coup in 626, son and father had differed to such an extent that their relations never returned to normal.
  • Emperor Taizong started construction of the Daming Palace in 634 at Longshou Plateau for his retired father, Emperor Gaozu. However, Emperor Gaozu died in 635, before completion of the palace, so construction stopped. Construction started again in 662. The construction of the palace was finished in 663.
Layout and function

  • The Zichen Hall, the Xuanzheng Hall and the Hanyuan Hall stand on the central axis, starting from the south and finishing in the north. These halls were known as the "Three Great Halls" and were part of the inner, middle and outer court respectively. The Danfeng Gate consisting of five doorways is the central southern entrance of the Daming Palace.

Inner court

  • The Zichen Hall is roughly 95 metres north of the Xuanzheng Hall, in the inner court. The central government offices were housed here.

Middle court

  • The Xuanzheng Hall is at approximately 300 metres north of the Hanyuan Hall. State matters were usually discussed in this hall. The office of the chancellery was to the east and the office of the secretariat was to the west of the Xuanzheng Hall. From this place, the central management of the Tang Empire was handled by the secretariat, the chancellery and the department of state affairs.

Outer court

  • The Hanyuan Hall was linked to the Qifeng Pavilion in the west and the Xiangluan Pavilion in the east. The Hanyuan Hall’s elevated platform is roughly 100 meters long, 200 meters wide and 15 meters high. Several official functions were performed in the Hanyuan Hall.

Heritage

  • The Daming Palace was found in 1957. The Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences carried out the earliest excavations and surveys of the Hanyuan Hall site from 1959 to 1960.
  • Preventive conservation measures of the Hanyuan Hall started in 1993. For the preservation and restoration of the site, many excavations and surveys were conducted from 1994 to 1996. In order to preserve the Hanyuan Hall, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage adopted a two-phased plan by 24 July 1995. A number of specialists, UNESCO, Japanese and Chinese institutes and Chinese government joined hands to work on the project in 1995. Most of the conservation work finished in 2003.
  • The Daming Palace was opened to the general public on October1, 2010. There are several exhibition halls situated all through the site to display the excavated cultural relics.