Renowned as one of the three most magnificent imperial palaces of Tang Dynasty, Daming Palace is located in the north Longshou Plateau of the ancient Changan city. The legend says that Daming Palace offers a panoramic view upon the boundless ridges of suburban Zhongnan Mountain and upon the gridded lanes and streets inside the Changan city.
Daming Palace was built in the year of 634 A.D., the eighth year under the reign of Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty. The Palace was firstly named as Yongan Palace, which was decreed by Emperor Taizong as a summer palace dedicated to his father, founder of Tang. However, the construction of the palace was ceased owing to the sudden death of the emperor father. And Yongan Palace was changed into Daming Palace in 635 A.D.. Literarily speaking, Daming means the luminescent hues of the ascending sun. During the second reign year (662A.D.) of Emperor Gaozong, Daming Palace was resumed in construction and was expanded in territory under his decree. Since Emperor Gaozong moved into Daming Palace in the following year, the Palace has boasted itself as the administrative and political center of Tang Dynasty for more than 200 years.
The name of Daming Palace is associated with a legend. At the end of Qin Dynasty, Liu Bang, the creator of Han Dynasty, had his troops occupy the then capital city of Xianyang and rob from the Qin Xianyang Palace a great many valuable antiques and paintings, including a bronze mirror. After Tang established its regime, the bronze mirror was unexcavated from the site of Daming Palace in the building process. Wei Zheng, an important official of Emperor Gaozong, identified the mirror as the auspicious object of Qin Dynasty. The mirror was assumed to be able to reveal in details the internal organs of a person and more importantly to foretell the loyalty of the court official as well as the destiny of a state. When the construction of Daming Palace was finalized, the bronze mirror was revered by the emperor as an almighty palace guardian. And Daming Palace was said to be gleaming with gorgeous splendors every night on the Longshou Plateau of the Changan city, resembling a gemstone in the daylight.
Daming Palace relates to Empress Wu Zetian. In 690, the then Empress Dowager had her son Emperor Ruizong yield the throne to her and established the Zhou Dynasty (690-705). Daming Palace witnesses the crowning ceremony of the only woman in the history of China to assume the title of Empress Regnant. In the year of 880 A.D, Daming Palace was seized by Huang Chao, the leader of the peasant rebels at the end of Tang Dynasty, and was specified as the center of his regime. In 896 A.D under the rule of emperor Xizong, Daming Palace was ruined in the fire of the incessant wars.
Now, this ancient and spectacular complex stands in the north of Xian, witnessing the ups and downs of the past 1300 years and the prosperity and decline of the previous dynasties and being reminiscent of a glorious bygone era. A stunning Daming Palace National Heritage Park will be built up on the site of the ancient Daming Palace in 2010 to unveil its glamour and appeal.