The Forbidden City is astounding! The best-preserved imperial palace in China and the largest ancient palatial structure in the world!
It is recognized as one of the most important five palaces in the world (the other four are the Palace of Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in the UK, the White House in the US, and the Kremlin in Russia...I've gotta get to the Kremlin!
The Forbidden City, situated in the very heart of Beijing, was home to 24 emperors of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) Dynasties.
The construction of the grand palace started in the fourth year of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1406), and ended in 1420. (14 years to build?? not possible!!)
In ancient times, the emperor was said to be a son of Heaven, and therefore Heaven’s supreme power was bestowed upon him. The emperors’ residence on earth was built as a replica of the Purple Palace where God was thought to live in Heaven. - so basically it was heaven on earth!
Fortification entry wall - about 30' tall and 60"THICK!!!!
The temples and palaces have such poetic names such as the Palace of Heavenly Peace (Qianqinggong), the Palace of Union and Peace (Jiaotaidian) and the Palace of Terrestrial Tranquility(Kunninggong). The city is overwhelming with its vastness and structures. We spent 2 hours and but could have probably spent 2 weeks. It was nice to see so many Eastern visitors, very few Westerners.
We exited the palace and visited 3 more pagodas in Jingshan Park which is a 57 acre park directly behind the Forbidden City but was once part of it. It was opened to the public in 1928. It has 3 pagodas and overlooks the City, unfortunately if there was less pollution, a better view!