July 15, 2024

Blast Back Friday


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Welcome to Flashback Friday – Where we share previously published articles which were reader favorites. Hope you enjoy this Friday’s article, originally published in 2013, a photo tour through The Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing. Enjoy!


The Forbidden City lies at the center of Beijing, the vast and sprawling capitol of The People’s Republic of China.  The city itself is an interesting mix of the old and new.  At the heart of the city is Tiananmen Square which houses the Mausoleum of Mao Tse Tung.  It is bordered on the East by the China National Museum and on the west by the Great Hall of the People, the seat of Chinese legislature.. The southern end of the square is marked by the double gates of Zhengyang Men and the Arrow Tower.  The Forbidden City dominates the northern expanse from Tiananmen Square.  For  centuries it was the residence of the Emperor of China and  was the geo-political center of Chinese power. Today it is largely a museum and the number one “must see” location on everyone’s visit to Beijing. Here’s a preview for your visit – A Photo Tour of the Forbidden City.

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The main, southern entrance to The Forbidden City viewed from the gardens surrounding Tiananmen Square.

fc main gateThe Classic View of the main entrance, The Gate of Heavenly Peace,  framed by fountains.


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You enter The Forbidden City, moving northward through The Gate of Heavenly Peace.  Don’t worry, you will not be alone!


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 You will enter under the watchful eye of Chairman Mao

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After passing through the main gate you, along with a few others, move toward The Meridian Gate.
fc a Meridian Gate interiorBeyond The Meridian Gate you emerge into a large open interior space bisected by a small canal, the Golden Water.


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On the norther end of the open square you proceed through The Gate of Supreme Harmony



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The large spaces and dramatic buildings are impressive.  Small details, such as these under overhanging rooflines are equally beautiful.



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Detailed figures adorn rooflines.



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After passing through the Gate of Supreme Harmony you enter an even larger open square with the Hall of Supreme Harmony at it’s norther end.



fc popularDid I mention – you will not be alone?  Americans are very popular it seems, especially blonds and / or tall Americans.  Don’t be surprised if many Chinese ask to have their photo taken with you.



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More amazing detail – pretty much everywhere you look.
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Unfortunately, some of the detail is less amazing.  There are some areas which are clearly in need of repair and maintenance. For example, some of the walls have serious problems with blistering and chipped paint.



fc not alone 2Did I mention, you won’t be alone?  The Forbidden City is top on the list for every visitor to Beijing.


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The architecture and rooflines of The Forbidden City are classic Chinese.  Above, the tiled roofs offer a bit of abstract framing for temples in Jingshan Park located on hills to the north of The Forbidden City.


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You leave The Forbidden City through The Devine Military Genius Gate at the northern end of the City.  In the photo above you see the moat which surrounds the entire city.

For other articles related to China you might like to click on Tibet, Hong Kong, and Xian among others you can fine on this site.

The Forbidden City ………………Enjoy The Adventure!


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