The palace was located at the northern centre of the rectangular Heian-kyō, following the Chinese model (specifically that of the Tang Dynasty capital of Chang'an) adopted already for the two earlier capitals Heijō-kyō (in present-day Nara) and Nagaoka-kyō. The south-eastern corner of the Greater Palace was located in the middle of the present-day Nijō Castle. The main entrance to the palace was the Suzakumon gate (35°0′49″N 135°44′32″E / 35.01361°N 135.74222°E / 35.01361; 135.74222Coordinates: 35°0′49″N 135°44′32″E / 35.01361°N 135.74222°E / 35.01361; 135.74222), which formed the northern terminus of the great Suzaku Avenue that ran through the centre of the city from the Rashōmon gate. The palace thus faced south and presided over the symmetrical urban plan of Heian-kyō. In addition to the Suzakumon gate, the palace had 13 other gates located symmetrically along the side walls. A major avenue (大路, ōji?) led to each of the gates, except for the three along the northern side of the palace, which was coterminous with the northern boundary of the city itself.
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