The Inner Golden Water RiverThe City is set out with the main buildings in the centre of the site, fronted by enormous courtyards, with auxiliary buildings to the sides of this main setup. Apparently there are something like 900+ buildings on the site, so I think more than one visit is required, now there is a brilliant excuse for going back sometime!
The Hall of Supreme Harmony, just to give you some idea of the scale of the place…
A closer view.I will try to name some of the Palaces and Halls but I have to admit I am using the internet to help me here, so hopefully I will get at least some of them with the right names!! The weather was nice but the air quality was not good that day, which had resulted in some of the photos not being their best.. another valid reason for a re-visit sometime??
One of the first things you notice on entering the City are the roofs, which are all gold in colour as opposed to the blue and green colour seen on other important buildings. Yellow is the colour of the Emperor hence the golden roofs. Yellow is my favourite colour, hmm maybe I have some connection with the Emperors then? Haha! Also I did promise to show you the roof with the ten animals on in a previous blog, here it is! These animals are on the roof ridge of the Hall of Supreme Harmony. It is the only building in the country to be permitted this number of animals. The animals are led by a man riding a phoenix, and they are followed by an imperial dragon.
Erm what is cooking for dinner tonight???
The Forbidden City is undergoing an immense restoration programme, I believe it will take about 10 years to complete, it was very interesting seeing the un-restored buildings as well as the ones that have been done.
One of the side buildings, and not many people in sight!!
We spent 5 hours wandering around the City, and we still did not see everything. We met various holidaymakers on our visit to China and were amazed that that they had spent just half a day looking round the City, personally I would like to go back again and see all the things we missed!!
An unrestored building, see how muted the colours are!
Looking across to Beihai Park, more about that in a later blog.
Once again I am going to split this blog into two parts, mainly because there are just so many photos to share but also because I think the Imperial Garden deserves a blog in its own right.
Below are two Imperial Lions guarding a gate, one is male and one female, which is which and why? No cheating now!! I will put the answer below the photos in a few days