The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the home of the Emperors of China for almost 500 years.
From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbidden_City) – Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 7,800,000 sq ft. The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCOas the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world…It consists of 980 surviving buildings.
We donned yellow caps so that our guide could spot us and she carried a yellow flag so we could spot her. It would be easy to get lost in the crowd here!
The Meridian Gate leads into a huge courtyard or plaza.
The Gate of Supreme Harmony leads to the Hall of Supreme Harmony and on to the Palace of Heavenly Purity.
I soon lost track of which gate we had come through and later could not label my pictures accurately! Needless to say, the Forbidden City is immense. When I thought we must be nearing the end we would come out again on to another huge courtyard. Most buildings were freshly painted in expectation of the Olympics. A few were fully draped while being refurbished.
I think this is the throne in the Hall of Preserving Harmony.
Notice the decorations at the corner of the roof. The more little figures, the higher the status.
I believe this is the throne in the Palace of Heavenly Purity.
The residence buildings are in the Inner Court.
And this is the Starbucks that was in the last courtyard of the Forbidden City. It was closed in July 2007, just after we were there.
The moat surrounding the Forbidden City.
Beijing was a wonderful beginning to our tour of China. The sights were amazing and the people friendly. Beijing is definitely struggling with air pollution. You may remember this picture taken in the morning from our hotel room in my first Beijing blog. Beijing 1
This is how it looked in the afternoon.
Here’s a link to a blogger who lives in Beijing now. This post is about the smog that hangs thick even far out of the city. Vanishing into thick air
p.s. A new follower of mine has a restaurant blog. Here’s a link for a Beijing restaurant with great food pics.