Outer Golden Water River Bridges

Outer Golden Water River Bridges in front of Tian’anmen is called the Outer Golden River. Spanning over the Golden River are seven arched stone bridges known as the Golden Water Bridges. According to the historical records, the stone bridges have different names. During the Ming and Qjng dynasties, the middle one was for the emperor only, so it was called Imperial Bridge. The two bridges on each side were used by the royal family members and therefore, they were called Royals’ Bridges. The two bridges farther out were Ministerial Bridges for the civil and military officials above the third rank. The remaining two bridges in front of the Altar of Land and Grain to the west, and the Supreme Ancestral Temple to the east, were for the officials below the fourth rank, so they were called Common Bridges.

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