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Top 5 Facts: The Forbidden City

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1. Yellow
Almost all the rooftops in the Forbidden City are finished with yellow glazed tiles. This colour was chosen as, at the time, yellow was the official colour of the Chinese emperor.

2. Statuettes
Each building’s roof is decorated with a line of small statues, with the importance of the building determining how many it featured. The highest number is ten.

3. Time
The Forbidden City is home to one of the world’s largest collections of timepieces, with over a thousand examples dating from the 18th and 19th centuries within its walls.

4. Complex
The Forbidden City is very large, containing over 980 buildings of varying sizes over a 720,000m2 (7,750,000ft2) complex. Thousands of tourists visit every day.

5. Heritage
Since 1925 the city has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, which manages the site’s many ancient artefacts. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.