Gu GongRiddles are little poems or phrases that pose a question that needs answering. Riddles frequently rhyme, but this is not a requirement.
A Palace I was, and a Palace I am, but no orders do I decree.
No Queen did I house, for only men did rule, during times of grief and struggle.
My shell has openings that welcomed friends, and attempted to dispel our foes.
Some say there was truth I had 10,000 rooms, all heavenly and divine throughout.
But unlike this myth there is a fact that I am divided into two.
My southern part is a lesser court, presenting a harmony supreme, whilst the inner court, which is to the north, contained my royal family.
What am I?
HintLook at the title
AnswerThe Forbidden City, Beijing, China.
The Forbidden City is situated in the center of Beijing. It is no longer used for government or administrative purposes, and it is now designated as the Palace Museum. It was built as the Imperial Palace during the powerful Ming Dynasty though the rulers of the Qing dynasties would later use it for the same purpose.
The Forbidden City is an immense complex covering about 74 hectares in area. On the outskirts lies a massive moat that is six meters in depth and a wall that is ten meters high.
In the complex are five major halls, seventeen different palaces, and several hundred other small buildings. Some counts have placed the number of rooms between 9,000 and 9,999.5, though the latter number is more of a mythical reflection on the ideal Forbidden City that was believed to have 10,000 rooms in heaven. On each face of the rectangular complex is a large gate. Their imposing doors were meant to withstand the fiercest attacks of its time, and the walls could reportedly withstand heavy cannon fire.
The complex itself is divided into two sections. The southern section is the lesser court, or Outer Court, and has some five halls including the massive Hall of Supreme Harmony. One key feature in addition to the Hall of Supreme Harmony is the Gate of Supreme Harmony. The Inner Court housed the Emperor and his family.
'Gu Gong' (the title of this teaser) is the Mandarin expression for "Former Palace". (The word "Gu Gong" is also a generic name referring to all former palaces). So the answer was in the title for you!
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