The Forbidden City Exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum

It's a rare chance to see over 200 artifacts from Beijing's Palace Museum as the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presents The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China's Emperors. These treasures were left behind at the largest imperial palace in the world for more than 500 years. Only the emperor, his family, and select servants had access to these royal possessions. Now visitors to the ROM can get a glimpse into this ancient and astonishing world. Some artifacts in the exhibit are travelling outside of China for the very first time.

The Forbidden City served as the imperial palace of China starting with the Ming Dynasty and ending with the Qing Dynasty. Made up of over 980 buildings, the city is located in the center of modern-day Beijing. It was constructed between 1406 and 1420 and covers over 7.8 million square feet. The complex is divided into the Outer Court, where the emperor held court for invited guests, and the Inner Court, where the royal family resided in unsurpassed luxury. Among the items appearing in this very special exhibition, you will find samples of the emperor's ceremonial armour, gemstone decorated gold serving vessels, and various pieces of Ming porcelain ware. A special nine-piece stackable set of jars will also be on display. These containers were once home to crickets belonging to six-year-old Emperor Tongzhi.

The exhibit runs through September 1, 2014. Tickets are $19 for children 4-14, $24.50 for students age 15-25, $27 for adults, and $24.50 for seniors 65 and over. Discounts for groups of 20 or more are available. The Royal Ontario Museum is located at 100 Queen's Park in the heart of downtown Toronto. For more information, visit

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