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The imperial archives Huangshicheng: Nation sheds further light on its rich past

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-03-16 10:35

For nearly 500 years, Huangshicheng, the archives that hold royal history, stood quietly to the east of the Forbidden City. The stone complex was built by Emperor Jiajing (1507-67) in 1534 to house imperial files, fearing they might be destroyed by fire in the wooden buildings of the Forbidden City, and as part of an effort to introduce a new ceremonial system to consolidate his rule.

The most important royal archival material, like shilu ("veritable records") and shengxun ("the imperial sermon"), was placed in large golden cabinets known as jingui in the main palace.

In its long history, the complex has been renovated many times, and the most recent one, which focused mainly on the west side hall and the base and walls of the north courtyard, was completed in 2021. In the same year, the north courtyard at Huangshicheng began to be opened to the public after renovation work. The south courtyard, which is also being renovated, is expected to follow soon.

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