Water Vats

Forbidden City, Beijing (map)

Three hundred eight large vats, that held water for fire-fighting, were scattered around the palace compound. Eighteen of them, presumably associated with the major buildings, were made of gilded bronze. It is said that when the European Forces raided Beijing in 1900, they scraped off the gilding with their bayonets; the marks are still clearly visible on the vat on the right, which is located near the Hall of Preserving Harmony.

The regilded vat on the left is located in front of the Gate of Heavenly Purity.