Beijing – Palace Museum

forbidden_city

Love these Gold Lion Guardians… this is the female-she has a cub under her foot

They say this is one of the world’s most magnificent palaces, the Forbidden City. Forbidden to the public from its construction until after the fall of the dynastic China. It was originally built under the Ming Emperor Yongle, on the site of a Yuan dynasty palace, the Forbidden City served as the imperial seat for another 23 Ming and Qing rulers.

The Forbidden City is officially named Gugong meaning Palace Museum. It has 800 buildings with 9,999 rooms and great halls, and a labyrinth of courtyards, gardens (we did not see a one) and passages all contained within a complex that is about 1,000 yards long and 820 yards wide. It is truly a city within a city. In order to see all that can be seen in the Museum, we were told it would take three to four days. We only spent a few hours seeing the three main halls, the Nine Dragon Wall and the Empress Cixi’s portion of the Palace, which is located on the east side.

On average there are more than 40,000 visitors a day. They will let up to 80,000 when times are busy. There were a lot of people visiting on this day and it made for a challenge to get to see much of the artifacts, such as the sword in the photos. We gave up after five rooms due to the Chinese always cutting in line, we could not get through a room easily. In our eyes, this was a very depressing place. So bent on impressing everyone, there was no warmth. No place to call home. All of it was larger than life. Our few hours was more than enough for us. After leaving here, we went into the Jingshan Park that used to be part of the Forbidden City, and then to BeiHai Park before taking a rickshaw back to the hotel for the night.


Click on any image to enlarge. Or better yet… click on the first photo and scroll through them all

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