Standing outside the Forbidden Palace. Tiananmen Square and Mao's tomb are in the background:
Entrance to the Forbidden City & Palace:
|Morning military exercises.|
The first courtyard:
|This is where we bought tickets. Just a few other people there.|
|We entered through the second set of gates |
(using the doors that had been reserved for only the emperor)
and now inside another courtyard.
|According to feng shui, it is best to have water in |
front (near the entrance) and a mountain behind.
This water was man-made to give the palace
the best feng shui.
|The tile and paint have been restored in this area.|
|Getting ready to walk through another |
gate and into an inner courtyard.
|This is one of the lions flanking this part |
of the temple. This is the male lion and his paw
is resting on a large pearl.
|Getting closer to the royal family's living quarters.|
|Looking back at the bridges over the canal. |
Our guide told us that there were something like 15 layers
of brick in this area to prevent people from tunneling
in to the palace. The palace grounds are
surrounded by a large moat.
|People used to think the roofs appeared |
to be covered in gold, but
they are actually yellow glazed tiles.
|Lots of grounding wires for lightening strikes. |
Lightening has caused fires a few times at the palace.
|These pots were used for water as a means |
of fire prevention in ancient times.
|Across the moat (and the street) at the |
back of the palace, is the Temple of Heaven.
It is on a man-made mountain which fulfills
the other part of the proper feng shui
for the palace (water in the front,
mountain/earth) in the back.
|Going closer to the royal family's living quarters.|
|A single piece of stone. Amazing!|
|Yeah, a picture of the two of us!|
|Me with my princesses|
|One of the rooms used by the emperor.|
|One of the emperors preferred using this bedroom, |
located in one of the side wings of the palace as opposed
to the big bedroom in the middle of the Forbidden City.
|Looking down one of the side alleys that |
would lead to the living quarters for the emperor's
concubines or the family of the previous
emperor (depending on which side of the palace).
|The building behind is where the|
emperor would study. It looks out into
a beautiful garden.
|Each rectangle shows a scene from a story |
and uses small pebbles to make the design.
|The tree with interlocking branches. |
The next picture explains its significance.
|Repairing the roof of the maids' quarters. |
Even their buildings were one level below
the emperor's bedroom to show the status
of the emperor and that they were "beneath" him.
|A bed covering in the emperor's bedroom |
(the big bedroom in the center of the palace).
|This stone was taken from the Taihu Lake|
area between Suzhou (where we live) and
Wuxi (where Jamie works), which is many
miles from Beijing.
|EBean supervising the restoration work.|
|A view of the Temple of Heaven.|
|It seems that most excursions include some ice-cream!|