Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Forbidden City

Built by the Ming Dynasty beginning in 1406, the Forbidden City was the home of 24 Chinese Emperors over 5 centuries until the last dynasty fell in 1912. Entrance by the common citizen was once punishable by death, the Forbidden City now receives more than 900,000 visitors each year.

The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the largest building in the Forbidden City. It was the ceremonial center of imperial power, and the largest surviving wooden structure in China. The architecture consists of columns supporting heavy tiled roof structures rather than load-bearing walls. Amazingly, all of these structures were built without screws or nails, only fitted wooden dove-tail like fastenings.

Mat standing in Tiananmen Square, the worlds largest public square. In the background you can see the Tiananmen Gate to the Forbidden City which means Gate of Heavenly Peace. It was this gate where Chairman Mao Zedong announced the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China after WWII on October 1, 1949. His portrait hangs on the front of the building still today.

Photo Source: Destination 360

After walking for about an hour, Aaron was shocked we were only just three gates above his head on the map.

The Emperor's throne room.

Aaron looking over one of the 900 buildings that make up The Forbidden City.

The Lump Tree.

Aaron and Bo outside the moat and 30 foot high city walls of The Forbidden City.


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