In 1368, after the first emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang, established the Ming Dynasty, he made Nanjing as his capital. But after the third emperor, Zhu Di came to the throne in 1402, he decided to move the capital from Nanjing to Beijing. Upon the decision of moving the capital, a large-scale construction of the Forbidden City started in 1406. The Forbidden City was built based on the model of the Imperial Palace in Nanjing but was more splendid and larger. The construction took 14 years and was completed in 1420. In the following year, 1421, the capital of the Ming Dynasty was moved from Nanjing to Beijing.
But unfortunately, after the completion of the Forbidden City, natural disasters and man-made calamities happened frequently in the Ming Dynasty. Many main buildings were burnt down because of lightning and in the war respectively. The palatial structures and the historical relics in the Forbidden City were badly destroyed, and many buildings were rebuilt later according to the original design.
Starting from the third emperor, Zhu Di, to the last emperor, Zhu You Jian (Chongzhen), there were a total of 14 Ming Emperors who lived and handled state affairs in the Forbidden City.