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Built originally in the Ming Dynasty and rebuilt during the Qing Dynasty, it was here that from the time of Yongzheng Emperor in the 18th century the Qing Emperors lived and ruled the Chinese Empire. Three emperors died in the Hall. The building itself has a front and a rear hall, which served as the emperor's bedroom. In the front hall the Emperor discussed court business with his mandarins. From behind a screen in the hall the Dowager Empress Cixi made decisions on state business in the name of her son and her nephew in the late 19th century and into the early 20th century.