Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Tiananmen Square, Mao and The Forbidden City

One must-see place in Beijing is of course Tiananmen Square. A massive square, its centerpiece is not only a monument to China's beloved dictator, it still HOUSES Chairman Mao himself. My brother and I joined the large and steady queue and were lead through the Mao Zedong Mausoleum and past the man himself, well, his embalmed body at least. I have to say he was looking a little bit orange and waxy but quite good for someone who's been dead since 1976.
The Mao Zedong Mausoleum with guards protecting it.The Forbidden City was truly beautiful, not to mention massive. Built between 1406 and 1420, it was once an entire working city, it now consists of 980 surviving buildings which cover an area of 720,000 square metres.

It's a fantastic place to wander around through all the little alleyways. The decoration was amazing, but I especially liked these three-dimentional tiles.More tile detail from a doorway.
It's difficult to appreciate just how big the city is and to take in all the amazing craftsmanship and detail that went into building it.After the Forbidden City my bro and I headed out the back and up Coal Hill to a beautiful panoramic view of the city. The painted ceilings were particularly stunning.

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