Craftsman still use traditional methods to maintain the Forbidden City. Many of these methods are still closely guarded secrets.
Explore the origins of the Forbidden City, the savage and self-appointed emperor of the Ming Dynasty who ordered its construction, and the architect whose cosmic vision brought ritualistic significance to every detail. The greatest palace ever built was constructed with miraculous speed but harbored fatal flaws and became marked by a devastating fire that foreshadowed the city's ultimate fate-and that of the Ming Dynasty.
Watch this episode online now.
Stream hundreds of shows by starting your free trial to Smithsonian Channel Plus. Check the availability of this title and explore our vast library of original documentaries and series.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.