The Shenyang Imperial Palace, one of the two most intact imperial group-buildings ever existing in China, is located at Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. Covering an area of more than 60,000 square meters (about 71,760 square yards), the Shenyang Imperial Palace is one twelfth the size of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The palace consists of more than 300 rooms, formed around 20 courtyards.
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Founded in 1624, the 380-year-old Shenyang Imperial Palace is one of the few ancient Chinese architectures to epitomize an ethnic culture, next to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The palace can be divided into three sections-the eastern section, the middle section and the western section. Each section boasts of unique characteristics.
Besides the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Shenyang Imperial Palace is the only other existing palace complex in China. Within its walls much is revealed about the early Qing Dynasty. It was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2004 as an extension of the Forbidden City and is now the most popular and renowned tourist attraction in Shenyang.