Sunday, June 16, 2013

Aloha to Beijing - Forbidden City

The reddish brown wall hides the beauty to come.  From Wikipedia (link),

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the centre of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.

Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000 m2 (7,800,000 sq ft).  The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

Our guide noted that the color yellow is associated with the emperor, so the roofs were painted accordingly.

It truly is a city within a city.   With the national holiday, the city was thriving!

These Chinese children pose in front of the Shi (female) ... 

while Babbit and my boys pose in front of Shi (male).

Tourists explored every building ....

... while I enjoyed the architecture!

The turtle represents long life ... the dragon turtle is a positive ornament in Feng Shui.

David stands under the dragon head that serves as a rain run off.

The palace has several large urns to collect rain water in case of fire.   

In the garden, the emperor created an artificial hill to erect his own private retreat.

Walking along the Forbidden City's outer walls, we discovered another gate house ...

... and a modeling shoot using the gatehouse in the background.   The Forbidden City intrigues the locals and tourists alike.


Kim in Korea


  1. I love the dragon turtle. I need one of those.

  2. wow... such great photos. :)

  3. I too love that dragon turtle - had never even heard that before. Great pics!

  4. Love the dragon turtle. But Kim, where are you in the photos? Can't someone else in the family be the photographer once in a while?

  5. I would love to visit the Forbidden City one day.

  6. Wow, those are great pictures. Thanks for sharing your visit with us.

  7. Oh, I love the dragon turtle. Great architecture. And I can see why they would do a modeling shoot there...very cool place to take photos.

  8. The architecture is just gorgeous. I love the turtle, too.