The Forbidden City in Beijing

People resting at the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is right in the middle of Beijing city. It is not randomly somewhere in the city but exactly in the centre. The rest of today’s metropolis was carefully built around it. Other UNESCO world heritage sites I visited such as the Great WallTaj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, and Peta Borobudur are far away from the centre. Another fun fact that was completely new to me, I discovered this when I lived in Beijing, is that the literal translation in Chinese is Purple Forbidden City (紫禁城) and not the Forbidden City. Polaris, also called the purple star by ancient Chinese astronomers, was regarded the centre of heaven and since the emperor was considered divine the palace was called the Purple City. It was forbidden to enter the palace without special permission of the emperor himself. Hence the reason why in Chinese the name for the palace is the Forbidden Purple City or more commonly know as the Forbidden City in western literature.

The greatest man-made palace and pollution on the planetThe Forbidden City lower wallsThe enormous Forbidden City wallThe Forbidden City canalThe outer wall of the Forbidden City

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