Monday, December 8, 2014

Beijing Urban Planning Museum and Forbidden City

Back in September we took a tour with The Hutong. Margot has taken some classes there along with some of our visitors.

The tour basically covered the history of the Qing Dynasty and Beijing.

I've posted on the Beijing Urban Planning Museum before. The tour started here. This is a picture of a huge bronze sculpture/map on the wall showing Beijing in 1949. That's the Forbidden City in the middle and Zhongnanhai to the left. Today Zhongnanhai is the Central Party and government complex. You can think of it as the Chinese White House and associated offices.

This is a large scale model of Beijing.

Click to enlarge it to get a sense of scale.

This is a separate larger scale model of the CBD. This shows some of the planned or under-construction buildings. Our apartment building is along the bottom just left of center - the tan building with diagonal lights.

Here is a wider view.

After the museum we walked through Tiananmen Square and into the Forbidden City. This is actually the Imperial Library building and is sort of off the beaten path - very few visitors.

There are a number of displays. Most are artwork. I'm not sure what these tablets are about.

Scrolls and paintings, etc.

This is back in the main part of the Forbidden City. This is the courtyard in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony (on the left). This is where hundreds or thousands of officials from across the realm would assemble periodically to pledge allegiance to the Emperor.

This is the Hall of Mental Cultivation or 养心殿or Yǎngxīn Diàn. From about 1722, this is where the emperor lived and ruled the country and in this respect is one of the most important buildings in the complex. The other bigger halls were for ceremonies.

These next few pictures show the living area and meeting areas used by Puyi, the last emporer.
This is the parlor, I think.

Another of the rooms.

Puyi was pretty "Westernized". The furnishings and table setting are as they were in his time.

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