Forbidden City, Beijing
"Take the grand red city wall for example. It has an 8.6 meters wide base reducing to 6.66 meters wide at the top. The angular shape of the wall totally frustrates attempts to climb it. The bricks were made from white lime and glutinous rice while the cement is made from glutinous rice and egg whites. These incredible materials make the wall extraordinarily strong."
I read this in Travelchinaguide.
Would you imagine? Rice and eggs! And no one tried to bite the wall!
A very serious advice:
Pay attention to every detail of the explanation done by our guide (person or book), during the visit: that way you will find out that "peace and harmony" is the dominant concept all across the place. You will visit doors, palaces and halls of all kinds of peace and harmony: Supreme harmony, preserving harmony, Heavenly peace, terrestrial peace, central harmony...
Take a lot of pictures to document, all the differences (?) among them.
Back home sort them carefully, and find out that... you are lost. For us, western people, everything is so similar that all the descriptions become... words.
So, mix your pictures, and find the harmony resulting from that mess.
That's the forbidden city: a beautiful big old city (with harmony) whose details are only for expert's eyes.
The Forbidden City is not forbidden anymore for today’s tourists from anywhere around the world. It has already been opened to the public for quite a few years. Now no matter when you have time and want to take a walk inside this once forbidden palace, you just need to take your step and enter it.
The Forbidden City is not considered a leisurely place for tourists, but a place for appreciating history and wonders of ancient China. In the past centuries it only served the royal families, while it is open to the public today. It is not a solemn place for emperors to meet their senior officials and deal with all kinds of issues happening during their reigns, but a place for taking a walk, chatting happily with friends while appreciating the wonders hidden inside it, or sitting on the wooden chairs made by the palace administrators on either side of the main path dividing the palace into two parts. It is a time for fun.
Chinese people can enter the palace, and so can foreign friends from different parts of the world. While walking on the main path, you will frequently hear the voices of different languages around you and meet different kinds of faces that may impress you on site.
Its admission is 40 RMB this season (winter), but you don’t have to buy any tickets to enter this palace, for the Tiananmen Tower and Duanmen Tower (the second gate of the palace) are free for tourists. If you really want to enter it and see the inside of this century old city, you can buy a ticket and enter from the Wumen Tower. Those who only want to hang around before this gate can enjoy their time here taking photos of the ancient building standing by you or walking into a newly-opened antique shop on the western side of the main road. To be honest, nearly no one will buy a feather of the shop, for all things displayed inside it are extremely expensive. However, you can appreciate the beauty and fine art of them. This will be a nice trip.
Or perhaps you can act like me, sitting in one wooden chair and enjoying the music in my ears while the sunshine is caressing my face and combing my emotions.
Beijing's Palace Museum, the Forbidden City, plans to gradually open more visitor areas, ultimately making up to 80 percent of the museum accessible to the public, the museum's curator said during the National Day holiday.
The Beijing Daily cited Shan Jixiang as saying that the residences of the empresses will be open to the public by 2015, adding 14 percent to the visitor area.
The expansion includes the residence of Empress Zhen Huan, a concubine of the Yongzheng Emperor (1678-1735) who has become a household name due to a popular TV drama.
Shan said the office area will be moved out of the museum in 2016, expanding the visitor area to 70 percent of the site.
In the future, up to 80 percent of the museum will be open to public, Shan added.
Visitors to the ancient site have increased from 2002's 7.1 million to 2012's 15 million, with the public area nearly doubling in size.
Harmony is the general world to qualify buildings and yards inside the Forbidden City.
Supreme, Central, Preserving, whatsoever, as a matter of fact, they all seem alike to me, in what I prefer to describe as "Immense harmony" (with the Emperor's excuses)
While many people opt to visit the front of Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, the north side of Forbidden City is very peaceful, no crowds at night and has some beautiful scenery.
Walk along Jingshan Front Street from Beichizi Street. There is a little walk way along the moat.
Is it acceptable to say that the Forbidden City is a heart of Beijing and China in the whole? (Excluding the Great Wall) I think so. As this is the very meaningful and historical place for Chinese people. And not only for Chinese.
The Forbidden City is located just opposite to the Tiananmen square. So you can spend the whole day around this area. (I highly recommend to visit the National Museum of China and after move to the Zhengyang Men which are located on Tiananmen Square. ).
Ticket to the Forbidden City cost (August 2o13) 60 Yuan but be ready to stend a long queue.
You can spend here for 2-3 hours because the Forbidden City area is huge and there are many places to see.
Don't forget to take 2-3 bottles of water and a good mood with you :-)
Well, you have to go and see it because it is so famous, but I was heartily disappointed. Large drab gates lead onto large drab squares with large drab palace buildings in their midst. Then another gate, another square, another palace building; then another; then another. I think it was the total lack of greenery that got to me, that and the fact it all looked the same to someone like me uninitiated in Chinese palace architecture. The only saving grace was the little garden right at the back. Thank goodness for a bit of colour.
Having said that. What do I know? Maybe you will love it. Lots of people probably do.
The Forbidden City was the home of the Chinese Emperor from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. For almost 500 years it was the ceremonial and political center of the government of China. Work started on building the palace in 1406 and continued until 1420. The palace is made up of 980 buildings and covers 7,800,000 sq ft.
I may have enjoyed my visit more if I had read up on it more. It could be my own lack of knowledge that made me see it as dull.
To get the masses of tourists on a smooth path through the Forbidden City it is not possible any more to enter the palace by the North Entrance. Everybody has to use the Meridian Gate in the south to enter the grounds.
What a pity! I loved to first visit Coal Hill in the morning, then to enter the Palace at the north with not many tourists there and enjoyed the quiet garden in the north part. Afterwards leaving in the South and experiencing Tiananmen Square. That is no longer possible in this way.
Yes... the remains from the imperial era. This is the largest palace complex in the world to date, so be prepared to allocate plenty of time for the palace visit if you truly want to experience the grandeur of the glorious past.
Some of the places and structures are quite run down and not all the area at the palace are open for visitors.
Beijing Hotel is an ideal place for you to live during your Beijing trip, and a number of must-visit attractions are available in Beijing, which are more than you can attend to, including the Forbidden City, Beihai Park, Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace, so you'd better book a tour with a local agency. I booked a tour with China Highlights to Beijing last year, and it turned out to be very helpful, so good luck to you.
"Harmony" is the common word in the description of the several spaces of the Forbidden City. The smallest one is "complete". Why? Don't ask - I didn't read that much. It was used by the emperor to rest, in his way to the Hall of Supreme Harmony, more than 15 meters distant.
The Forbidden City was built over 14 years, beginning in 1405, when the third Ming Emperor moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing. It was very secure—it had walls and a moat, and the courtyard had numerous layers of bricks to prevent anyone from tunneling in. Over the centuries, the complex was home to 22 emperors. Now it is a museum. There are 5 gates going in, but only the Emperor could use the center Meridian gate. The complex has 9,999 rooms—one less than heaven. We didn’t begin to see all of it—it would take days.
Because yellow is the symbol of the royal family, it is the dominant color in the Forbidden City. Roofs are built with yellow glazed tiles; decorations in the palace are painted yellow; even the bricks on the ground are made yellow by a special process.
However, there is one exception. Wenyuange, the royal library, has a black roof. The reason is that it was believed black represented water then and could extinguish fire.
Located at the center of Beijing, to the north of Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, called Gu Gong in Chinese, was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares.
Surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter high wall are 9,999 buildings. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Divine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 meters, while the distance between the gates in the east and west walls is 750 meters. There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924 when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. Having been the imperial palace for some five centuries, it houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world-wide
Notes from travelchinaguide, my agency