In 1420, in an effort to consolidate his control over the throne, the emperor of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) moved China's capital to a site in the North, now known as Bejing. There, he built a vast complex of palaces and administrative buildings now covering 178 acres. Because access was restricted to the imperial family and to those who had business with them, it came to be known as the Forbidden City. Learn more about the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) on the Asian Art Museum's education website.