Tuesday, January 26, 2010

China July 2009 - Forbidden City

We made the steamy walk from our hotel to the Forbidden City - along the way meeting a friendly young student who was the first of many to compliment Bailey for being a 'lucky father' with two children, one of each! The young man was an artist who, with his friends, was working toward affording a student exchange in NYC. We stopped in their studio, and Finn selected a traditional watercolor of a tiger which was then customized with his name in Chinese characters.
The Forbidden City itself was originally a Ming Dynasty imperial palace - naturally, quite impressive. It's aligned almost perfectly to the compass points and is said to 999 rooms, as nine is considered a lucky number. I didn't verify this information - that's why realtors have that little disclaimer at the bottom of each listing.... There are little figures along the roofline corner ridges of many of the buildings in China which represent the importance of the building - the more figures, the more important. There is only one building in China which is allowed the rank of 10 - The Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City.
Although from its moniker, it's obvious that the Forbidden City hasn't always opened its doors to everyone - leaving more to the power of imagination (even today, Ba Sing Se, from Avatar, is based on the city.) When "The Last Emperor" was allowed shot in the 'City back in the '80s, it was a truly landmark occasion.

No comments: