The Palace of Great Brilliance, the Daming Palace, in Xi’an, Shaanxi, served as the royal residence of the Tang emperors for more than two centuries.
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At that time, Xi’An was known as Chang’an, Perpetual Peace, the ancient capital of China for more than ten dynasties. During its heyday, the capital was one of the largest and most populous cities in the world, counting 800,000-1,000,000 people within city walls.
Work on Daming Palace started in 634, under the rule of the Emperor Taizong, during the Tang Dynasty. The Emperor ordered the construction of a summer palace for Gaozu, his retired father, as an act of filial piety. However, the father died when its construction entered its 2nd year and the work was suspended. One day, thirty years later, Empress Wu wanted a new palace and asked Yan Liben, the imperial court painter and architect, to design it. Construction commenced again in 662 and a year later was completed. On 5 June 663, the Tang Imperial relocated from the Taiji Palace into the Daming Palace. Long forgotten, the Daming Palace was discovered in 1957. A couple of years later the earlist excavations and surveys were carried out by the Institute of Archaeology of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The complex is composed by Three Great Halls (Hanyuan Hall, Xuanzheng Hall, Zichen Hall), respectively part of the outer, middle, and inner court. The palace grounds included an Academy of music for actors and performers, a cockfighting arena, a bell tower, a drum tower, an archery hall, a lake and a cuju football field. In 1995, was adopted a plan for the restoration and preservation of the site.
Images of Daming Palace