The Forbidden City, also known as the Ancient Palace, was the palace where the Emperor of China lived during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The palace is home to many important historical stories spanning over 500 years. Today, the Forbidden City is still the most popular tourist attraction in Beijing, a cultural masterpiece recognized by UNESCO and a source of pride for the Chinese people.
The vast Forbidden City withstood the test of time
In today’s vast Forbidden City, there are still many mysteries and interesting things that not everyone knows. Visitors when passing through Long Tong Mon – an area that is also very interesting, if you look closely you will see something special, namely right on the signboard with a black arrow attached. This arrow was stuck here over 200 years ago and will most likely remain there forever, never to be erased.
This black arrow has been stuck here for centuries, witnessing the many ups and downs of the ages
Long Tong Mon was located just west of Qianqingmen Square – the largest main hall in the entire palace. The gate to Long Tong Mon has quite an important and sacred meaning, it has been the place where the Emperor’s coffin is welcomed into the Inner Court if the king dies outside the Forbidden City. In the past, all the princes and ministers would not be allowed to arbitrarily enter Longzong Gate if they had no summons. So why did the ancestors leave the arrow in such a position of authority? It’s not hard to shoot arrows, but why doesn’t anyone dare?
Longzong Gate is an area located right next to the largest main hall of the palace
The origin of the mysterious black arrow is an ominous story in the history of the Qing Dynasty, especially during the reign of King Gia Khanh (1760 – 1820). During his reign, an uprising called the White Lotus Church broke out in China. This rebellion was founded by disgruntled peasants with the goal of overthrowing the Qing government. In 1804, the White Lotus Church group launched a massive attack on the Forbidden City palace even though there were few people fighting.
At that time, Emperor Gia Khanh was not in the capital. It was the Crown Prince Mien Ninh (later Emperor Dao Quang) who had to deal with this sudden attack. A bloody battle broke out in Longzongmen. And in that battle, amidst the chaos, an arrow accidentally pierced the Longzongmen nameplate. After a short battle, the peasant uprising group lost.
The arrow is very small, but it contains a large king’s heart
After Emperor Gia Khanh returned, he was informed of the situation and went to Long Tong Mon to review. The king saw the distinctive black arrow still digging deep into the sign that the palace maids had not finished. Gia Khanh gave an unexpected order, that the arrow should be left there, no one could drop it.
The king considered that this was a reminder to wake up to himself to always be alert, to stay strong in all circumstances, not to be subjective like the events of the Bach Lien Religion. He himself felt that he was the ruler of the entire world, but it was a shame to allow such a thing to happen. And not only to warn themselves, the arrow must also stay there forever to hinder the later descendants of the Qing Dynasty.
Some people think that it is a symbol of shameful court, but Gia Khanh has a very different way of thinking
Many courtiers tried to convince the king to draw arrows for years because they thought that it is a witness to battles, bloodshed, symbols of being attacked without pride. But all of them were rejected by Gia Khanh. He even ordered that anyone who dared to pull him be executed. So this black arrow has been kept on the plaque for over 200 years. After the feudal era collapsed, the Chinese government agreed that it would be maintained as ordered by King Gia Khanh, because this is an interesting historical witness, the past.