Forbidden City

During my stay in Beijing, I of course had to also visit the Forbidden City, a remarkable place and the center of power in China for several hundred years. I thought I already knew it, having watched The Last Emperor several times when I was growing up. Somehow it made it onto television around the winter holidays a few times. I’m not really sure how to convey my feelings about the sprawling palace complex — timelessness and serenity mixed together with mass-scale tourism and consumerism left me perplexed. At once grandiose and terrible, majestic and despicable.

See the other Beijing galleries and blog posts about streets in Beijing and the Fayuan temple.

throngs of tourists

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looking back out toward Tianenmen squareIMG_6542 IMG_6547 IMG_6552

overflowing

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empty

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colorful roofs

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emeperor’s throne

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selfie with 1000 of my friendsIMG_6583

some roofs are not as manicured as others…IMG_6593 IMG_6594

drawers for jade stampsIMG_6598

residential quarter

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If I had to live in the forbidden city I would live hereIMG_6619 IMG_6622 IMG_6640 IMG_6643 IMG_6648 IMG_6341

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