Forbidden City 2
I think this is one of the many large charcoal-burning pots that were used to keep the place warm on cold nights. Jinghua and Gail have reached the top of the stairs; your photographer lagged behind, as usual.
I don't know about you, but I think the Chinese have a great sense of color. Everything seems brighter and more vivid that here in America, from the buildings to the apparel.
This stork serves as a charm for long life.
Nice turtle, eh? It is also a good-luck charm for long life. The follow their own medicine by living for 1000 years, or even 10,000 years (or at least the Chinese say). But what teeth!
Jinghua and the others are trying to position themselves for a view of the inside of Tai He Dian, or the Hall of Great Harmony. This building is the largest in the Forbidden City. Gail is already there.
As seen from the sign below, this is Tai He Dian, or the Hall of Great Harmony. The original dates back to 1420, nearly a century before Columbus reached North America. It's worth pushing to get a good view!
If for some reason you can't read this sign,
it says "BRONZE VAT. According to a record, in the Forbidden City there are
altogether 308 bronze and iron vats, big and small, of which 18 gilt bronze vats
were placed in front of Tai He Dian (Hall of Great Harmony), Bao He Dian (Hall
of Preserving Harmony) and Qian Qing Men (Gate of Heavenly Purity). These vats
were used to hold water in case of fire at that time. When the weather was too
cold in winter, they were covered with lids and even lit fire beneath to prevent
the water from freeze."
I wondered what in the Forbidden City was so susceptible to catching fire. Then I looked around and saw how much wood was used in the construction.
I like this picture. It gives a feeling for the imposing scale of buildings in the Forbidden City. This impression intensifies when you place yourself into the Beijing of several centuries ago.
Ahead to Forbidden City 3
Back to Forbidden City 1
Back to Beijing March 2003