Monday, April 23, 2012

Beijing Trip Day 2 - Forbidden City

The Forbidden City was so named this because, for more than five hundred years, nobody was allowed to enter except for the rulers of China and their servants. Whoever else entered faced the DEATH penalty. It was the home to two dynasties of Emperors, the Ming and the Qing dynasties, within the reign of twenty-four emperors who lived in this imperial palace! The city was built during the reign of Emperor Chengzu in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and is located directly in the center of Beijing and it's vast area is hard to miss. (source) Now, the palace is open to the public with the entrance fee of RMB40 to 60. =)

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 as pictured below. While the northern section, or the Inner Court is where the royal family lived.

The outer court and the Hall of Supreme Harmony at the background.
When entering into the outer court from the Meridien Gate (the pic shown in the previous entry where we bought our tickets), a large court yard consists of three important buildings will be in view. One is the one above,
  • the Hall of Supreme Harmany (Taihe Dian ) - where grand ceremonies were held  like the Emperor's enthronement, birthday and wedding day, the dispatch of generals to battles, the Winter Solstice and the Spring Festival.
  • another is the Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghe Dian) - the place for the emperor to do preparations for ceremonies, and the last is 
  • the Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohe Dian) - where banquets were held on New Year's Eve and also place to take Final Imperial Examination (source)
I noticed the all of the buildings had these architecture designs.
The mini statues represents the building's status.
The sloping ridges of building roofs are decorated with a line of statuettes led by a man riding a phoenix and followed by an imperial dragon. The number of statuettes represents the status of the building – a minor building might have 3 or 5. The more the statuettes, the higher the status. (source)

An American movie was made here. The Last Emperor if I'm not mistaken.
To the south east and south west of the outer courts are courts for the military and literary purposes such as receiving ministers and printing. The arrangement of the halls can be seen below.

We passed through A until H. Stopped by Empress's quarters first. (source)
At the front of the Hall of Heavenly Peace (methink, hehe) is a big bronze dragon.

OMG... look at it's muscles!!! Aummm!!!
On the way to the Imperial Garden, we stopped by the west side of  Hall of Heavenly Peace, into the Palace of Gathering Excellence  (not depicted on map).

Entering Palace of Gathering Excellence, residence of the Empress and Imperial Concubines.
Here resides Chi Xiu Gong or known as only Cixi (慈禧) in 1852 when she was created honorable person Lan. She gave birth to the emperor Tongzhi here in 1856 when she was promoted to concubine Yi. Her pic is shown below at age 70, methink.

Chi Xiu Gong, the Empress.
More pictures below.
Various pics from within the Forbidden City.
Clockwise from upper-left: Huge Stone Carving behind the Hall of Preserving Harmony, The Study of the Cultivation of Nature - Yang Xing Zhai, last two pictures are the surrounding rockeries of Yang Xing Zhai.

The picture chosen for my header. =)
This picture was taken in the Imperial garden. A pavilion amidst old trees, rockeries and cherry trees. Just breathtakingly beautiful and serene. =)

So that ends my visit to Forbidden City. Next stop is the Silk Factory!

OH ya, don't forget to vote for me for the "Tourism Travel Blog" Award here..

Thankyou for reading!

(Most of the info were referred from here -- source).


hazman aka species1980 said... [Reply]

perasan gak header blog nie dah tukar yea... okey u got my vote...kalau silap tgh leading kann... ;-p

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said... [Reply]

Hi there, came across your blog at the MITBCA nominations. You have a good looking travel blog! I'm also nominated, in the Tourism Destination Blog category. All the best!
Duncan In Kuantan

JieJ said... [Reply]

Jard..u got my vote!!!Good Luck babe!!

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@hazman... thanks dear. =)

@duncan.. wahhh.. glad that you came to comment! will visit your blog soon

@Jiej.. you're the best!! haha

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