Results 1-10of 25 Reviews
Manhattan County, New York
November 27, 2011
by Linda Hoernke
St. George, Utah
June 3, 2010
From journal Tracking Dinosaurs in China
Gravesend, United Kingdom
October 12, 2009
From journal Highlights of China
September 18, 2009
Los Angeles, California
September 5, 2008
From journal My Cultural Revolution
July 15, 2006
From journal Studying Anthropology and Archaeology in Beijing
May 28, 2005
I really wanted to think that this was a city built in the 1400s, but in reality, most of the buildings are post-18th century. Certainly the site is original, but most of the buildings were regularly destroyed by fire (accidental or intentional), and the massive "fire buckets" that circle the buildings would have proved totally inept for dousing the flames. Despite the rebuilding, it’s really not too difficult to imagine the privileged lifestyle that was enjoyed by the emperor and his chosen ones. I’m not sure I’d go for the life of a eunuch, despite the fact that the chief eunuch was highly valued by the emperor.
We gazed at the wonderful workmanship that had ensured that every minute detail had been created in perfection, and I shall never forget the comment we heard as we were looking at one of the emperor’s rooms. I was admiring the decorations and intricate carving on one of the emperor’s thrones when a loud voice remarked, "It’s just a chair. What more can you say!" The same person was probably dismissive of the giant carving that had been dragged to the city on a bed of ice – no mere feat in my view.
All the buildings in the complex had a dedicated purpose, and many are in the process of being restored to their former glory. Although this can detract from the splendour of the Forbidden City, we could not help but admire the diligence of the workforce as they used simple tools to rebuild parts of this precious heritage. The roofs of the important buildings, bordered with no less than 10 figurines and colourful patterned ceilings supported by decorated pillars, were the features of the buildings. Outside, on the ornate terraces with their vast sundials and incredible statues, we had commanding views of the courtyards and a preview of the next impressive building.
We were impressed with the imperial gardens on the northwest and northeast of the complex. They were prefect reflections of each other, and the twisted trees, curvaceous walkways, and "perilous hills" gave a surreal feel to the place. Ornate pagodas were built over gently flowing streams, and despite the crowds, it was still possible to find a quiet haven.
From journal The Bustle of Central Beijing
April 4, 2004
So I can't say much about the history of the place, but it's just incredible. It's the city that's depicted in the Disney movie Mulan. The furnishings and displays inside the buildings are just as exotic as the outside. I did not see this myself, but I heard that Mao must be rolling over in his grave because somewhere in the Forbidden City there is now a Starbucks! Let me know if you find it.
From journal Night Train to Beijing
August 27, 2010
Rotherham, United Kingdom
March 9, 2010
From journal The Historic Parts of Beijing