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Daming Palace Site Park

The Daming Palace was the imperial palace complex of the Tang Dynasty, located in its capital Chang'an.
Daming Palace national Heritage Park, Xi'an attraction

A Brief Introdution
The Daming Palace National Heritage Park was the imperial palace complex of the Tang Dynasty, located in its capital Chang'an in the Tang Dynasty. It served as the royal residence of the Tang emperors for more than 220 years. Today, it is designated as a national heritage site of China. The area is located northeast of present-day Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.

History & Background
The palace was originally known as Yong'an Palace, but was renamed to Daming Palace in 635 AD. 

In 662 AD, after renovations to the palace, it was renamed to Penglai Palace. 

In 670 AD, it was named to Hanyuan Palace or Yuan Palace. Eventually, in 701 AD, the name of the palace became Daming Palace again.

In 632, chancellor Ma Zhou charged that the retired Emperor Gaozu was living in Da'an Palace (大安宮) to the west, which he considered an inhospitable place as it was built on low-lying lands of Chang'an that was plagued by dampness and heat during the summer. According to him, ever since Emperor Taizong moved to the countryside during the summers, his retired father was left behind in Chang'an to suffer in the summer heat. However, his father would always decline any invitation from Emperor Taizong to spend the summer together. Ever since the bloody palace coup of the Xuanwu Gate Incident in 626, it seemed that father and son had drifted apart to an extent that their relationship never healed.

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In 634, Emperor Taizong launched the construction of the Daming Palace at Longshou Plateau. He ordered the construction of the summer palace for his retired father, Emperor Gaozu, as an act of filial piety. However, Emperor Gaozu grew ill and never withnessed the palace's completion before his death in 635, and construction halted thereafter.

Empress Wu commissioned the court architect Yan Liben to design the palace in 660 and construction commenced once again in 662. In 663, the construction of the palace was completed under the reign of Emperor Gaozong. Emperor Gaozong had launched the extension of the palace with the construction of the Hanyuan Hall in 662, which was finished in 663. On 5 June 663, the imperial family began to relocate from the Taiji Palace into the yet to be completed Daming Palace, which became the new seat of the imperial court and political center of the empire.

Layout & Function
Daming Palace Site was the grandest and most significant palace complex in Xi'an (then Chang'an) during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) where several Tang emperors lived, managed state affairs and met with officials. 

Daming Palace (大明宫遗址) was the grandest and most significant palace complex in Xi'an

Outer court
After passing through the Danfeng Gate, there is a square of 630 meters long with at the end the Hanyuan Hall. The Hanyuan Hall was connected to pavilions by corridors, namely the Xiangluan Pavilion in the east and the Qifeng Pavilion in the west. The pavilions were composed of three outward-extending sections of the same shape but different size that were connected by corridors. The elevated platform of the Hanyuan Hall is approximately 15 meters high, 200 meters wide, and 100 meters long. The Hanyuan Hall, where many state ceremonies were conducted, would serve as the main hall for hosting foreign ambassadors during diplomatic exchanges.

Middle court
The Xuanzheng Hall is located at a distance of about 300 meters north of the Hanyuan Hall. State affairs were usually conducted in this hall. The office of the secretariat was located to the west of the Xuanzheng Hall and the office of the chancellery was located to the east. From this area, the department of state affairs, the chancellery, and the secretariat handled the central management of the Tang empire, which was done in a system with Three Departments and Six Ministries.

Daming Palace was the grandest and most significant palace complex in Xi'an1

Inner court
The Zichen Hall, located in the inner court, is approximately 95 meters north of the Xuanzheng Hall. It housed the central government offices. For officials, it was considered a great honor to be summoned to the Zichen Hall. The Taiye Pool, also known as the Penglai Pool, is north of the Zichen Hall. It expanded over 240 mu (40 acres or 0.16 km²) and an island representing the mythical land of Penglai was built within it. The former gardens that surround the pond and island have been recreated, based on the historical record, with peony, chrysanthemum, plum, rose, bamboo, almond, peach, and persimmon gardens.

Daming Palace (大明宫遗址) was the grandest and most significant palace complex in Xi'an2

The area around the palace complex grounds is currently planted with locust trees, willows, flowers, and bushes on all sides.

Location: Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province
Opening Hours: 7:30  – 18:00
Admission Fee: CNY 60
Tel: +86-29-86708192

How to get there:
1. Bus 2, 216, 262 to Tongjia Lane;
2. Bus 16, 17, 22, 38, 46, 104, 209, 801 to Taihua Road

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