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Day 4 (18.03.2006)


Today the Forbidden City was our main goal. Our hotel was in the center of Beijing and so we drove very short from the hotel to the Forbidden City. When we arrived at the Tiananmen Square (Square of Heavenly Peace) we first saw the Mao Mausoleum. We went north and we saw the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Museum of Chinese History and the Museum of Chinese Revolution and the Great Hall of the People. Further north we came to the Gate of Heavenly Peace with a picture of Mao Zedong. The Square of Heavenly Peace is very large - it is the biggest public square in the world. We went through the Gate of Heavenly Peace and through another gate and then we saw the main entrance to the Forbidden City - the Meridian Gate. I was fascinated. I thought about the movie "The Last Emperor". The Ming Emperor Zhu Di (Yongle) let build the Forbidden City and in 1421 it was ready. With a surface of 720,000 m2 it is the biggest palace in the world. The walls of the buildings are red and the roofs are yellow. The yellow color of the roofing tiles is imperial yellow which was only for the emperor. Until 1911 the emperors of the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty reigned the Chinese Empire from the Forbidden City. We went north through the Meridian Gate. We admired the Halls and the Imperial Garden of the Forbidden City. I dreamed so long of the Forbidden City and so it was very fascinating for me. We left the Forbidden City through the Gate of the Divine Warrior in the north.

Meridian Gate
The Meridian Gate

Forbidden City
The Forbidden City

After lunch we drove to the Old Town of Beijing. We drove with rickshaws through the Old Town. The two couples drove in two rickshaws, the tour guide in one rickshaw and me too in one rickshaw. I liked this rickshaw tour very much, because the Old Town is very different from the modern Beijing. We were also in a vegetable market and we visited a Chinese family in the Old Town.

After that we drove to the Temple of Heaven. The Ming Emperor Zhu Di (builder of the Forbidden City) let build the Temple of Heaven in 1420. On our way through the park of the Temple of Heaven we saw many people who relaxed there and some people made music. We could not enter the Hall of Annual Prayer, because of a renovation, but could admire it from the distance. With its three roofs the Hall of Annual Prayer is really nice. We went south and we came to the House of Heavenly Lord and later to the Altar of Heaven. In the south we left the Temple of Heaven.

Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven

After that we drove to a silk factory and later to the Beijing Opera. We could see how the actors made their faces up and we could make photos. In Beijing one should not miss the Beijing Opera with its Chinese robes. After that it was evening and we drove back to the hotel.


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Last Update: 03.08.2006