Gate of Supreme Harmony
The Gate of Supreme Harmony (simplified Chinese: 太和门; traditional Chinese: 太和門; pinyin: Tàihémén; Manchu: Amba hūwaliyambure duka), is the second major gate at the southern side of the Forbidden City.
The gate was originally built during the Ming Dynasty, when it was called Fengtianmen (奉天門). Following the Qing conquest of China, the gate was given its present Chinese and Manchu name.
It is flanked by two minor gates, Zhendu Gate to the west and Zhaode Gate to the east. This gate and the Meridian Gate form the north and south boundaries of a great plaza (Shi Zi) that is divided by a serpentine waterway spanned by the “Golden River Bridges”. On the north side of the gate is Harmony Square and the entrance to the grand Hall of Supreme Harmony.
Arrayed around the stairs are a large number of incense burners.
The central stairway was reserved exclusively for the Emperor and his immediate attendants, as was the central entrance of Meridian Gate.