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19 June 2017

Someone spent 2 years painstakingly replicating China’s Forbidden City in ‘Minecraft’

Okay, that’s dedication.

A small team of Minecraft users have spent more than two years building a virtual model of China’s Forbidden City.

The effort eventually came down to two guys labouring over the course of over two years, to lay down billions of bricks to eventually recreate the 600-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site.

The team was led by 22-year-old Su Yijun from Guangzhou, who orchestrated the plan from scratch in 2014, as volunteers dropped out one by one from the gargantuan task, Sixth Tone reports.

Their virtual creation covers a square grid of 100 million blocks, and even replicates furniture inside, from the Emperor’s throne, to the traditional Chinese-style beds of the time.

Here’s the work that Su published:

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His video has been viewed some 870,000 times on Bilibili, a Chinese video portal.

The most difficult part of the project, he says, was being unable to visit and construct parts of the Forbidden City that are not open to the public.

“Many areas are not open to the public and….the interior decorations were not as how they originally appeared,” he told Sixth Tone.

Here's the Forbidden City IRL

Here’s the Forbidden City IRL

Image: PILIPEY/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

The Minecraft version

The Minecraft version

Image: 国家建筑师/bilibili

Real lion at the gates

Real lion at the gates

Image: LightRocket via Getty Images

Minecraft lion

Minecraft lion

Image: 国家建筑师/Bilibili

The Forbidden City was a Chinese imperial palace that served as the home for 24 emperors. It was so named because it was closed to the public for hundreds of years.

The palace grounds cover a span of 74 hectares, and attracts over 14 million tourists to Beijing to see it each year.

Video credits: 国家建筑师/Bilibili

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