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Forbidden City

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Forbidden City BeijingThe Forbidden City is probably the most magnificent cultural treasures that Beijing has to offer. Known as the Forbidden City because its premises were closed to the masses for hundreds of years, this imperial city could only be entered or resided in by Chinese emperors, royals and their eunuchs and concubines. For years this evaded the imagination of the locals. Now opened to the public, tourists are treated to stunning views of halls, courtyards and gates that are stunning architecturally. The Meridian Gate located to the south is where the agricultural season was planned out and where those officials displeased by the emperor were whipped for their insolence. The Hall of Great Harmony [Taihe Dian] should not be missed. This is the largest and most significant of the throne halls. It was made use of by Chinese emperors celebrating the dawn of the New Year and the coming of winter as well as for coronations and weddings of royal family members. It is the biggest of the wooden halls in China. The marbled terrace is beautiful as are the ceramic figurines lining the roof which symbolize important Chinese mythical creatures, legendary heroes as well as villains. 1000 dragons are carved into this hall. The Hall of Clocks and Watches contains beautiful pieces made of sandalwood, ceramic and ivory decked with innumerable jewels. The Gallery of Treasures is a storehouse of various objects found within the Royal household like imperial seals, candlesticks, hair pins, pagodas, tea sets etc. The imperial gardens reached via the Gate of Earthly Tranquility are stunning with lovely trees and mosaic paths dotted around them.

 

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