Beijing – I guess one of the oldest cities and also one of the most populated – about more than 21 milion people. Huh!

Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing. By the way Tiananmen Square is the fourth largest city square in the world.

Tiananmen Square has got it’s name from the Tiananmen gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace), which is located in the Northern side and separates square from the Forbidden City.

The Tiananmen Gate to the Forbidden City was built in 1415 during the Ming Dynasty.

Layout to Forbidden city. As you can see there are large squares even in the way to Forbidden city. Area is actually pretty big. When you are in the museum – city area – you don’t really understand that actually you are in a fortress. There is moath all over the place and walls and towers. Once it’s meaning was to secure life and reign of Chinese kings.

Here is the U-shaped Meridian gate. Because chinese emperors believed that they were sons of Heaven and lived in the center of the universe, they believed that the meridian line went through the Forbidden City. That’s the origin of the name.

The forbidden city. Once – in the 15th century – it was built as the palace of the Ming emperors of China. It’s fine history as a royal palace ended with the Qing Dynasty in 1912. After that it has been a museum since 1925.

Nice bridges in first courtyard.

Gate of Supreme Harmony. You can see very nice engravings on the stairways. Therefore its protected so nice figures will not wear out.

And more exactly.
At end of the yard you can see The Hall of Supreme Harmony. Looks very nice building. It was the ceremonial centre of imperial power, and the largest surviving wooden structure in China.

How nice details and colorful art work. Must require a lot for carpenters! I wonder how much money it takes to keep all those buildings in good shape…

The Hall of Complete Harmony is the smallest of the three main halls in the Outer Court and is square in shape rather than rectangular. It was preparation hall for emperor in ceremonies.

Giving some sense of how large area is – and this is just a small part of museum area.

Inside the Gate of Celestial Purity (QianQingMen), the first building is the Palace of Celestial Purity or Palace of Heavenly Purity.

And the lions keep here guard!

Picture from inside. From the time of Emperor YongZheng, the secretly chosen crown prince’s name would be written on duplicate documents and one copy would be hidden in a box behind the plaque. The other copy would be kept with the emperor. If the designated names on the two copies were the same, the designated prince could ascend to the throne. Difficult??

The fist courtyard. Or the second? Or third? I lost my counting…

The Palace of Terrestrial Tranquility was first built in 1420.

There are not too many furnitures in palace – I wonder was it cold here at winter? Don’t seem too well insulated buildings.

Imperial gardens
The way to imperial gardens. Also some more space for kids to play in garden area…

The garden was built in 1417 during the Ming dynasty. It is about 12,000 square meters and was the private garden of the imperial family. This garden was used exclusively by the imperial family to sip tea, play chess, meditate and generally relax. Within the garden, there are about 20 structures in different styles.DSC01693

Pathways to imperial garden among the trees. Emperor amd empress wanted to feel here peace and harmony among nice trees.

There are many old trees within the garden. Some more than 400 years old!

The Hall of Imperial Peace (Qin’AnDian), is the main structure in the garden and the only one on the central axis – it stands in the center of the garden, encircled by a rectangular wall. It was first built in the 15th century.

Small park of artificial rock and strange plants.

There is also a little artificial mountain with a cave´╝îwhich is piled up with delicate rocks and stones from Taihu Lake (this is part of it).

Strange looking elephant sitting alone!

That’s it! And I did not even see everything…too bad. But next time.

By the way – in our way back there was nice view from moth and little bit stonewalls.

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