The Forbidden City - Beijing
The Forbidden City was home to China's Emperors of the last
several dynasties.  Ordinary Chinese, especially men, were
banned here, hence the name.  The Chinese capital moved
often during the centuries.  The Forbidden City is a vast area
that can intimidate tourists.  A panoramic lens helps, and you
can see that photo by clicking on my
highlights page .
I tried paying attention to small details, such as this intricate
wood carving and painting on the ceiling of a royal pavilion.
The giant tortoise symbolizes hope for the Emperor to
have a long life, like a tortoise.  After visiting the
Forbidden City twice, it's still my favorite statue here.
Each Forbidden City pavilion had a grandiose name
and served a distinct function.  Many held elaborate
thrones for the Emperor, such as the one above.
This closeup of golden artwork design on a pavilion corner
might be intertwined dragon tails.  There are a host of
dragon images in the Forbidden City, since that beast was
sacred to the Emperor.      
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the Intrepid
Berkeley Explorer's free film of this trip by clicking on:
The Last Emperor's Home Video