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The Gate of Auspicious Beginning (Qixiang men) opened New Year’s Day 2018 as an expansion of the visiting area. Meanwhile, the opening of the wide north-south corridor between the Gate of Auspicious Beginning and the area west of the Gate of the Thriving Imperial Clan (Longzong men) allows visitors access to the inner west and outer west passageways. This change will relieve the congestion in the higher-capacity visiting areas of the main central axis and provide visitors with increased route options as they travel freely in the areas adjacent to the Palace of Compassion and Tranquility (Cining gong) and the Hall of Martial Valor (Wuying dian).
About the Gate of Auspicious Beginning (Qixiang men)
The Hall of the Supreme Principle (Taiji dian) is located in the southwest area of the Six Western Palaces. Built in 1420 (the eighteenth year of the Yongle reign, 1403–1424), the courtyard was originally called the Palace of Perpetuity (Weiyang gong). In 1535 (the fourteenth year of the Jiajing reign, 1522–1566) the Palace of Perpetuity was renamed the Palace of Auspicious Beginning (Qixiang gong) by the Jiajing Emperor to honor the palace as the birthplace of his father Zhu Youyuan, Prince Xian of Xing. Towards the end of the Qing period (1644–1911), the palace received its current name—the Hall of the Supreme Principle (Taiji dian). The earlier palace name and that of the Gate of Auspicious Beginning (Qixiang men) stem from the imperial respect for the residence as the source of auspiciousness. In 1538 (the seventeenth year of the Jiajing reign), the Jiajing Emperor invited a diviner named Liao Wenzheng from Jiangxi to the Forbidden City to determine auspicious funerary arrangements. When they walked to the current location of the Gate of Auspicious Beginning, the Jiajing Emperor asked the diviner whether or not it would be propitious to construct a gate at this place in the wall; he answered, “This location is auspicious for an entrance and will allow for a flowing passageway and a myriad of boundless longevities”.
Translated by Kang Xiaolu and Adam J. Ensign
Edited by Zhuang Ying