The Forbidden City is a vast exhibit separated into 3 different parts. The first gives a brief history of the dynasty and the world's largest imperial palace, supported by several artifacts. The second and largest part, displays the inner workings of The Outer and Inner Courts, including the emperor's private chambers. The last part delves into how The Forbidden City Palace became The Palace Museum in Beijing. With over 250 artifacts traveling for the first time to North America, and 80 of those never leaving The Forbidden City in China, this exhibit is a must see! Artifacts include textiles, silk paintings and drawings; silver, gold, and jade objects, large thrones and bells. I have to admit, I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of information given and objects to see. I would suggest to not go after work or bring small children. It is very large and can seem a little drawn out. Maybe take it in two visits, so you don't miss out on some of the amazing artifacts on display. I love the many placards throughout the exhibit explaining and teaching about Imperial China's history and it's important characters. I personally learned a lot and am glad for it.
I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the exhibit (not even the large painted wall outside the exhibit!), but I was able to take photos of The Thorsell Spirit House, near the front entrance that displayed a 3D map of the imperial palace and other signs. The Forbidden City: Inside The Courts Of China's Emperors runs until September 1, 2014. For more information, please visit www.rom.on.ca
And P.s!: Due to the fragile nature of some of the artifacts, there will be a rotation of brand new objects in early June. Perfect to visit the exhibit again to see displays that might have been overlooked and brand new items.