Beijing 3

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At the physical and metaphorical center of Beijing is the Forbidden City, the vast palace complex of former emperors for 500 years.

Tiananmen, the Gate of Heavenly Peace displays the design features of symbolic and philosophical importance.

The Imperial Palace complex consists of 980 buildings.


The Forbidden City was declared a  World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

The Imperial Gardens offer a luxuriant contrast to the symmetry of the palaces.


Soldiers practicing their formations in the square reminded us that China is still a Communist militarist power.

Chairman Mao souvenirs

Outside the walls, as everywhere in China, vendors sold souvenirs such as these Mao trinkets.

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This site was last updated 03/27/16