The main palace buildings are on the meridian line facing south, and the less important buildings are ranged to the east and west. The front part of the Forbidden City was known as the "outer court": here the emperor received high officials and conducted the administration of the empire; behind it is the "inner court", .where the emperor lived with his consorts; and to the rear is the imperial garden, where the imperial beijing tours family could pass their leisure time.
Wumen, also known as Wufenglou (Five Phoenix Tower), is the main and south gate to the palace. Its red platform is ten metres high and is flanked by massive wings to the east and west. The main gate-tower is nine ibis-s wide and has a double roof in wudiarn style with four fully hipped sides covered with yellow glazed tiles. On each wing are two square pavilions connected by covered galleries and roofed with yellow glazed tiles.
These are the "five phoenixes". With its three great platforms and five rruassive towers, Wumen is the most forbidding portal in the palace. During the Qing dynasty, the civil and military officials in the capital would wait nside Wumen every morning for the emperor to appear in court. The emperor's arrival would be announced by the drums and bells in the p pavilions on other side of the tower gate.
When the emperor left the palace to perform sacrificial rites at Tiantan or Ditan (altars of heaven and earth), the bells were rung, and when he went to the Taimiao to offer sacrifices to his ancestors, the drums were beaten.