Results 1-10of 25 Reviews
by Linda Hoernke
St. George, Utah
June 3, 2010
From journal Tracking Dinosaurs in China
Rotherham, United Kingdom
March 9, 2010
From journal The Historic Parts of Beijing
Gravesend, United Kingdom
October 12, 2009
From journal Highlights of China
September 18, 2009
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
March 25, 2001
From journal Unravelling the Legend of the Dragon
December 8, 2008
From journal Autumn in the Capital City
Los Angeles, California
September 5, 2008
From journal My Cultural Revolution
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