The Heian Palace (平安宮 Heian-kyū) or Daidairi (大内裏) was the original imperial palace of
The palace consisted of a large rectangular
walled enclosure, which contained several ceremonial and administrative buildings including the government ministries. Inside this enclosure was the separately walled
residential compound of the
The original role of the palace was to manifest the centralised government model adopted by Japan from China in the 7th century—the
From the mid-Heian period, the palace suffered several fires and other disasters. During reconstructions, emperors and some of the office functions resided outside the palace. This, along with the general loss of political power of the court, acted to further diminish the importance of the palace as the administrative centre. Finally in 1227 the palace burned down and was never rebuilt. The site was built over so that almost no trace of it remains. Knowledge of the palace is thus based on contemporary literary sources, surviving diagrams and paintings, and limited excavations conducted mainly since the late 1970s.
The palace was located at the northern centre of the rectangular Heian-kyō, following the Chinese model (specifically that of the