Results 1-10of 25 Reviews
swindon, United Kingdom
February 17, 2005
Being there in late January and three years away from the Olympics, they were doing a lot of renovation work, so parts were blocked off, with a lot of work going on.
However, although this hampered my photography, it didn't hamper my enjoyment. Once they have finished, the new paint work will really bring the temples and buildings to life.
I was slighty disappointed that the temples did not have much furniture in them. I realize that real relics might not be available, but replicas would have been good to get a better feel for how the space would have been used.
From journal Site Seeing While on Business
by Paul Bacon
Rotherham, United Kingdom
March 8, 2006
From journal Living life to Mao
September 30, 2000
From journal China budget tour
August 27, 2010
March 9, 2010
From journal The Historic Parts of Beijing
December 8, 2008
From journal Autumn in the Capital City
London, United Kingdom
March 3, 2005
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. The northern section, or the Inner Court, was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924, when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, 14 emperors of the Ming Dynasty and 10 emperors of the Qing Dynasty reigned here.
Having been the imperial palace for some 5 centuries, it houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions worldwide.
A definite must-see!
From journal Crazy in Beijing
May 31, 2003
This is located north of Tiananmen Square and the Palace Museum takes up quite a big space . . . the outer walls are about 1km by 0.75km in size and this was once the home of the emperor, the empress, concubines, eunuchs and so on. We bought tickets to the museum for 40RMB (about €5) and for another 40RMB and my driver’s licence as a deposit, we rented audio guides that helped us with information throughout the museum. It was kinda funny to listen to the audio guide because the information was being narrated by James Bond, eh, I mean Roger Moore. :-) It was certainly handy as not all the signs went into as much historical detail. We were lucky enough to have great weather this day -- the blue skies made the yellow roof tiles looked even more majestic. The Forbidden City was overwhelming -– in size and historical facts -– which I could bombard you with but I think that I will summarise by saying that it was a great experience In my opinion, this place can be compared to other magnificent buildings such as Versailles. And with names like Gate of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Protective Harmony and Hall of Heavenly Peace you know that this was a place fit for an emperor.
The only negative thing about the Forbidden City, that I can think of, was that on a few occasions we were approached by "Chinese art students" claiming that they would have an exhibition in Norway soon and they wanted us to come along to look at their paintings to get feedback and new ideas. We never did go along to see what it was all about so I can’t really comment on it. :-) I was also surprised to see that a majority of the Forbidden City’s visitors were part of Chinese tour groups, either following a flag holding tour leader or browsing about in matching hats.
From journal A week in Beijing
April 19, 2003
The first local we encountered upon getting out of the taxi was offering us the opportunity to check out some authentic Chinese paintings and give our opinions. We declined and headed off to get our entrance tickets, which amounted to RMB40 each.
We then decided that an audio guide would come in handy, as the available maps with information were only in Mandarin. And so it came to be that we were accompanied by the suave voice of Roger Moore on our walk through the Imperial Palace.
Roger seemed to have a comment about all the parts of the Imperial Palace, which came as a bombardment of information in addition to our guidebook. This is a city on its own -- as I imagine the Vatican to be. The daily life was so secluded and controlled that one wonders if the Emperor was keeping the world out or if the world was keeping him in. In the case of the last Emperor, he was definitely being kept captive in the city.
Together with groups of Chinese tourists, we explored the parts of the city that were open. I was in total awe of the immensity of the entire structure -- and we had only walked the parts that were still standing. The names of the different structures were amusing and impressive at once, such as The Hall of Heavenly Peace. One aspect of the history of the city that fascinates me is the Empress Dowager Ci'xi and the very meaning of the Emperial line to the Chinese.
Unfortunately, because of the Chinese habit to stroke artifacts for good luck, all the Halls are either closed or cordoned off, making it difficult to take good photos of the Emperor's throne.
The Forbidden City, like Versailles, also has its own form of magnificence. Once one reads more about the inhabitants of the Forbidden City and Versailles, the similarities become all the more alike than different. The most unfortunate aspect is that most of the city's treasures are scattered throughout the world and that there were no impressive displays available for us to gawk at.
From journal Historical Emersion in Beijing
by John Lamb
Colorado Springs, Colorado
February 18, 2002
Entrance was provided by the tour I was on, but for your information it costs 32 Yuan. The gates close for entrance at 3:30 and the whole palace shuts down at 4:30. You can get an audio tour and listen to James Bond (Roger Moore) give you the historical background of the temple.
The palace is huge and it is quite a joy to walk through all of it, although maybe a bit overwhelming. If entering from the Wumen entrance, the first major ceremonial hall you see is so huge and beautiful it is hard to grasp that you are actually witnessing it. One can take two rolls of film halfway through the city and not even begin to capture how wonderful the palace is.
My favorite section of the entire palace was the Imperial Garden. Twisted, black branches spring from numerous trees and intermix with jagged rock. There are a few little ponds spotted throughout. We stopped at a tea house there and enjoyed some hot tea (about 40 yuan) while enjoying the scene. There are also some ponds and pavilions to add to the beauty. The best part is Hall of Imperial Tranquillity in the middle of the garden that sits high on a mountain of rock. This is where the emperor Xuan Wu came worship a water diety to keep the palace safe from fire.
The Forbidden City is must-see if spending any time in Beijing.
From journal Beijing Over Chinese New Year