Daming Palace National Heritage Park, nominated site for World Heritage List, will open to visitors on China's National Day (October 1st) in Xi'an, the provincial city of Shaanxi Province in central China.
Situated on Longshou Yuan (Dragon HeadPlain) in the north suburb of Xi'an City, the Daming Palace is often referred to as the Forbidden City of Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD).
History of Daming Palace
Built-in 634 AD by the famous Emperor TangTaizong (also called Emperor Li Shimin) as a residence for his father, the palace was initially named "Yong' an Palace", but renamed "Daming Palace" just one year later.
In 662, when Emperor Tang Gaozong (Emperor LiZhi) took the throne, he decided to add grand extensive architectures and gardens to the palace and made the Daming Palace the residence of the royal family. Till then, the palace had its hay day in scale, covering an area of 3.2 square kilometers which was four times bigger than Beijing's Forbidden City. Countless terraces, halls, temples, pavilions, and administrative facilities were built and the smart layout makes them harmonious untied as a whole. Surrounding the huge palace was the 7.6 km-long defensive city wall characterized by 11 impressive gates. Surely, it was the greatest palace in Chang'an (previous Xi'an), the political hub of the Tang Empire for 240 years, and one of the most magnificent palace complexes in the world.
Pitifully, it was burned down in 896AD during the rebellion wars that followed. It was recorded that it took two months until the fire was finally put out. What remained were just the huge foundations of the palace, some of which can still be seen in the Daming Palace National Heritage Park now.
Daming Palace's Restoration and Promotion
Three years ago, Xi'an local government passed a scheme to restore the Daming Palace and got the approval of the Chinese central government. Soon the Daming Palace Heritage Site Preservation Revelation Project came out with details. According to the DMGYZ website, the project is a perfect integration between the preservation of ancient cultural heritage and construction of ecological landscape. It will become a masterpiece of China royal palace, accommodating citizens' needs of recreation, residence, and environment, and mirroring the international standards for improving the humanistic ambiance and building up new urban districts.
To make Daming Palace known to more, Xi'an municipal government has built a Daming Palace Pavilion, a miniature of the real palace, in the Shanghai Expo Park. Reportedly, 800,000 visitors have toured the pavilion and many said it was marvelous and wanted to make a Xi'an tour to see the real Daming Palace.