Between 1420 and 1922 AD, the Forbidden City in Beijing was the home of the imperial family. When it was first build during the reign of Yongle, it is said to have had 999 buildings along with 9,999 rooms and courtyards. The Forbidden Gardens Chinese History and Culture Museum has created a miniature version of the Forbidden City to educate people about the beauty and magnitude of this landmark without the long trip from Texas to Beijing.
There are two main parts to the Forbidden City - the Inner Court and the Outer Court. Each is marked by three main buildings. The Outer Court contains the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Middle Harmony and the Hall of Preserving Harmony. Each served an important function of imperial business (although Anna and I wonder why they weren't a little more creative in naming the buildings). The Inner Court has the Palace of Heavenly Purity, the Hall of Union, and the Palace of Earthly Tranquility.
These six buildings were obviously not the only important buildings out of 999 total. While calling a building the Hall of Supreme Harmony may not reveal much about its purpose, most of the buildings' names made their purposes much more evident. The Hall of Literary Glory was a reading room and also was used as a lecture Hall. The Hall for Worshiping Ancestors was...the hall for worshiping ancestors (do I really need to explain that one?)
Even in its miniature form, the Forbidden City is expansive. Looking down on the buildings, courtyards and gates at this small scale, it is difficult to imagine just how huge and impressive the real thing must be.