Log in

No account? Create an account
Wish paper icon
- Adventures of a Traveller -
Beijing Day 4: The Forbidden City 
26th-Jul-2006 02:55 am

The Forbidden City is the most impressive monument in Beijing. Not a single monument, of course, but a series of buildings and palaces and courtyards that cover 74 hectares (that's 740,000 square meters, to the uninitiated). If you just want to get from the North Gate (The Gate of Martial Spirit) to the South Gate (Tian An Men, the Gate of Heavenly Peace, and entryway to Tiananmen Square), the walk will take you a little over an hour. And you'll miss about 70% of the huge, incredible palace complex. We devoted four hours to the City, and saw, in addition to the central corridor, mainly the Eastern courtyards and buildings. (Click here for a satellite map of the Forbidden City. Very cool.)

Click on any photo to enlarge.

The Forbidden Wall.

Forbidden North Gate.

Forbidden Folding Chair.

The lovely Imperial Garden. The complex textures of the trees, stones, and palace buildings themselves create a beautiful harmony.

Traditional lace-bark pine.

A relief of a dragon, running up the center of a staircase.

Partially-restored ceiling tiles.

A ceremonial room.

Passing out of the busy and crowded central corridor, and into one of the eastern courtyards.

This courtyard served a series of buildings that were the home of one of the emperor's favorite concubines.

Going through a gate, we came suddely upon a remarkable structure, totally unlike anything else in the palace, or in the entire city of Beijing. I was completely entranced by this marble and iron shell of a building, and its cold and desolate beauty.

On to Forbidden City, part II

26th-Jul-2006 01:37 am (UTC)
Gorgeous photos. What did you think of the picture of Mao before you entered the city?
26th-Jul-2006 03:41 am (UTC)
Well we came from the north end of the city down to the south, so coming out and turning around to see him, it was like, well hello, welcome back to the real world and modern China! The first time i saw it, a few days before when we took a walk through Tiananamen Sq., it struck me how temporary and ineffectual the poster looks. Like here's this gorgeous HUGE wall, and this beautiful gate, and bridges, and some guy tacked his picture up, but he didn't manage to make it a PART of the wall at all. You know? What struck you when you saw it?
28th-Jul-2006 12:53 am (UTC)
I like your description of the picture. It seemed out of place. Here you have a gorgeous centuries-old building with an ugly, old poster of bad leader. He was imposing his cold self onto something wonderful - like he was trying to rewrite the past. "Oh look! I'm going to put my mark onto something that I didn't contribute to. I am just trying to show my power. I have power over everything - past, present and future. Worship me. Let me try to incorporate my being into everything that is Chinese." Needlesstosay, I did still get my picture taken with it at the very end of the square.
Questions or comments? Email lilywenttotokyo@walla.com