In fact, this was actually my first visit to China; more than 7 years ago which was 2 years before the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games. Yes… Beijing at that time was rushing to get ready for the games and the city was busy with construction everywhere and was messy.
When I touched down in Beijing, it was just right at the ending of winter and beginning of spring so the temperature was still a bit cold (eeer.. more like erratic. LOL!! The guide told us that it was due to the wind blowing the coldness from Siberia) To tell you the truth, I did not know what to expect as I only heard stories from friends and read about China from newspaper and books but not see it with my own eyes.
First glances was,… mmm how do you say it… it was dull colour and not so bright looking. Maybe it was due to the building colours unlike in other countries where it is more lighted up or modern or upbeat. Maybe could also due to the cloud and also the time (ending winter). =)
Anyway, this was my first impression as soon as we started going around Beijing city.
Our first stop was at the Temple of Heaven or some people say it as the Altar of Heaven; is a complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would visit the complex for annually for ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.
This is the entrance to the complex of Temple of Heaven which covers about 2.73km² of parkland. It comprises of three main group of construction; The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, The Imperial Vault of Heaven and The Circular Mound Altar.
This is the Circular Mound Altar where the Emperor prayed for favorable weather.
… this is the Imperial Vault of Heaven which is a single-gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base. Surrounded by a smooth circular wall, the Echo Wall, that can transmit sounds over large distances.
Outside the ground of the temple, we walked passed some of the flats.
Where’s next destination in Beijing? Yup.. as you guessed it; The Forbidden City. It sits in the central Beijing facing Tiananmen Square and has been designated as a National Palace Museum and its counted as one of the world’s five Palaces (the Forbidden City in Beijing, the French Palace of Versailles, Buckingham Palace, the White House and Kremlin). The palace of the Forbidden City is China ‘s largest and most significant ancient architectural complex with a total area of over 720 thousand square meters.
We entered the city from the northern entrance; The Gate of Divine Might, and heads towards the southern gate; Meridian Gate.
A brief summary of the history of the Palace Museum.
More to come….
P.S I will not tell too much or bore you on the history as there is so much here in Beijing to tell or write and some are very interesting. I will just share the photos while you can enjoy the reading of the history at your own pace. =)