Beijing – Forbidden City

[flickr id=“5716744860″ thumbnail=“small“ overlay=“true“ size=“medium“ group=““ align=“right“] The Forbidden City (w) is literally a cascade of stepwise, hierarchial escalation. Physically from the starting point at the low entrance gate, as well as in size and splendour. The way of building is gigantic, reflecting, as it seems to me as a non-professional, the hierarchial and imperial ancient Chinese Mandarin system of the state. We spent more than half a day in the numerous buildings, halls and pagodas. As yesterday for the Summer Palace, also for today, I uploaded some pictures which could give you an impression. All in all, it sets high standards for Unesco World Heritage Sites.

As impressive as it is from the outside, including the size and rich decoration of buildings, which look nearly as in any kind of Far-East children’s book from Europe, as informative is the inside. Some of the palaces are furnitured in the style of their former use. I got the impression, visiting the Forbidden City is nearly as visiting a number of single museums in a European country or as visiting one of the large capital museums. There are exhibitions, topically sorted, inside some of the other numerous buildings which previously served for housing the as numerous concubines, starting from stone and pottery prehistoric excavation artifacts to the late imperial dynasties with their more modern pottery, jewelling, gold and silver craftswork, calligraphy and painting.

[flickr id=“5716742594″ thumbnail=“small“ overlay=“true“ size=“medium“ group=““ align=“right“] In some of those exhibitions – the quality of the exhibition samples and their presentation varies as far as I can judge –  you can apparently spend a lot of time. Not in all of them, but in most it was allowed to take pictures, which I obviously did. Unfortunately, particularly in the exhibition on old and new calligraphy and painting, photographing was forbidden. But I think, there are already enough pictures from the other sites.

In the evening we used the time, which we still had to investigate a Chinese food market, including the remarkable offerings of (still living and moving) scoropions and seehorses on a stick, which after your order are grilled. Don’t worry, I chose something else. But I will remember the picture impression.

And we went to the Temple of Heaven (w). If you did not already realize that size mattered in ancient China, you do there. It is not exactly the same order of gigantomanism as in the Forbidden City, but it is still very large. And by the way, also todays buildings e.g. nearby the Tian’anmen square show that building large is still popular with the Chinese state.

From the pictures, regarding those, taken at the Forbidden City, you might ask why I took several times pictures of nearly the same buildings. In fact, there are many similarities, but they differ one from another. Just imagine, wandering around through a lot of those for hours. I tried to catch the overall impressions by some panoramas of the distances and large ramps from step to step, by which the complete Forbidden City is built up.

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