Sunday, September 23, 2012

Forbidden City

Our last day in Beijing and we finally made it to the Forbidden City. Excluding today, we had amazing weather so unfortunately my pictures are a bit on the gray/hazy side. 

Built in 1415, Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world and located across the street from Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square can hold more than 300,000 people. It is a gigantic plaza with government buildings so I was not overly impressed but I do understand why the square is so important to the Chinese.
The Forbidden City lives up to expectations. It was the palace for 24 emperors from the Ming to Qing dynasties and now houses the Palace Museum. The place is absolutely massive, covering 720,000 square meters (90 football fields) and China's largest architectural grouping of ancient halls. When you first enter, it is very stark; no trees, shade or grass which I found out was on purpose. Trees were not allowed because intruders might hide in the branches.

To tour the museum, you enter at the southern entrance gate with the recognizable picture of Chairman Mao Zedong.
 After purchasing your admission ticket, $9.50 US or 60 RMB, you enter through the Meridian Gate (Wu Men)
 Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe dian)
 The grounds around Hall of Supreme Harmony

 Hall of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing gong)
 Palace of Earthly Tranquility (Kunning gong)
 Hall of Union
Grounds around the Earthly Tranquility and Union Halls.
 At the very northern end of Forbidden city is the Hall of Imperial Peace (Qin'an dian).
 Alas, our time in Beijing has come to an end. I feel like we definitely packed in as much as we could in a weeks time. It was an amazing trip but most memorable will be us getting engaged. Looks like our next destination might be to Osaka, Japan which will definitely be another fascinating city to see. I have a feeling a few of our friends and family might want to visit us on that trip.
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