The largest siheyuan in the world, was the home to the last two imperial dynasties, Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912), from1420 to 1924. 980 buildings in the complex on 180 acres have survived. It’s part of the imperial city. Sits at the center of Beijing, is only a mile east to my childhood home. The rectangle complex measures 3,153 ft (961 meters) north-south and 2,470 ft (753 meters ) from east-west, is surrounded by the moat with four turrets at each corner.
The old Beijing had two sections, the Inner City (green part) to the north and the Outer City to the southern. The western part of the imperial city was the imperial garden, is now being used as the central government – Zhongnanhai (middle and south Sea – refers to the lower two sections of the water), the White House of China. The slight differences is, it’s the home and office for many senior officials, from Chairman Mao to President Xi Jinping.