Forbidden City, Beijing

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Day 1 in Beijing we went to the iconic historical site the Forbidden City.

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Behind the Tian’anmen was Wumen, or the “Upright Gate”.

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Though I have been here a few times, I still had to check the map.

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Ticket office.

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The ticket allows the access behind this Meridian Gate, or the palace proper.

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First court yard, Gate of Supreme Harmony at the far end.

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Gate of Supreme Harmony.

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You may walk atop of the city wall now.

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Forbidden City wall.

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Looking at the Meridian Line from above.

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Other court yards.

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Corner Tower, often dubbed as the root of the Forbidden City.

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On the otherside of the wall was the moat, now a beautiful river with willow trees.

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Renovated ceiling on the corner tower.

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A courtyard gathered all the loose stones found in the palace.

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Coming down from the wall was another park.

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Re-entering the palace proper from the east side.

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From the east, looking at the courtyard of the Gate of Supreme Harmony.

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Guess they only had so much man-power, only patches of the ground were cleared from grass.

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Longhorns passing a gate.

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Entering the Gate of Supreme Harmony was the Palace of Supreme Harmony.

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Emperor’s seat.

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Vats of water prepared in event of a fire.

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Hall of Preserving Harmony.

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Emperor’s seat.

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Traditional doors.

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The Meridian bridge connected all the gates and bridges in the center.

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At the very back of the palace, or the most inner part, was the Gate of Heavenly Purity.

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The most famous seat of all, often featured in films and TV series.

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Stepping aside, looking at the Meridian Bridge connecting the palaces.

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Side court yards.

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Delicate glazed patterns.

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Some museums reside in those side courtyards.

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Exiting the palace, there was a tiny backyard.

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Intricate calligraphy relief.

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Tall rockwork, with caves and stair cases going up.

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Bridges, ponds ,and lilies.

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Out.

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Behind the Forbidden City was Jingshan Hill, an much larger imperial park for the royal family. According to Wikipedia: the 150 ft high artificial hill was constructed in the Yongle era of the Ming dynasty (600 years ago) entirely from the soil excavated in forming the moats of the Imperial Palace and nearby canals. It is especially impressive when one considers that all of this material was moved only by manual labor and animal power. 20170719_172017 (8)20170719_172017 (9)

The park featured some interesting stones.

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The spot where the last emperor of Ming Dynasty hang himself on a tree. As the Qing army approached, he saw that his Dynasty was lost, ran over here with his attendant and hang themselves on a tree.

The tree later died from a thunderbolt and was replaced by another tree.

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A memorial stone from 100 years ago next to the tree.

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Going up the hill.

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At top of the hill you get a view of the Forbidden City from above.

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The stone reads: #1 scenic spot in China Beijing.

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