Temujin goes to Beijing, and Tarini and I explore the Forbidden City in Beijing – it’s amazing!

November 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Posted in China photos | 2 Comments

Temujin and I roared up to Beijing for a quick visit last week for a wonderful event at Capital M on the Sunday and a terrific school visit to Daystar Academy on the Friday!  So of course, on Saturday, what better thing to do than to take Temujin’s favourite cousin Tarini to check out the extraordinary Forbidden City, which many of you already know was Harry Harrison’s inspiration for the Grand Imperial Palace in The Tale of Temujin! Here are some photos of this momentous visit!

The Forbidden City was the Imperial Palace in China during the Ming and Qing dynasties and is the largest palace complex in the world! Building began in 1407 and ended in 1420, and it was the home of the Emperors of China right up until Puyi, the last Emperor of China, was expelled from the palace by the Republicans in 1924.

Tarini and I outside the Forbidden City in Tiananmen Square.










Tarini and a real life Princess Precious!








Inside the first courtyard leading into the Forbidden City.


















A very impressive lion guarding one of the palaces – but Tarini wasn’t at all scared!








Guess who’s the Queen of the Castle (or should that be Empress?)!








The eaves of the Hall of Supreme Harmony. You can tell how important a building is in the Forbidden City by counting the number of small animal sculptures on the eaves! This hall is the most important of all, so it has eleven animals!








The exquisitely ornate and colourful painting under the eaves of one of the palaces in the complex.




Two great Imperial symbols: The crane and the tortoise.











The Hall of Central Harmony










The gorgeous golden throne in the Hall of Preserved Harmony










Tarini and I in front of an extraordinary, gigantic stone carving, which was transported from the quarry where it was made to Beijing during the Ming dynasty in the middle of winter, by sliding it along roads which were flooded and then frozen.








The beautiful palace gardens behind the royal palaces where the Emperor and his family and concubines would stroll in the evenings.

These entwined cypress trees are said to symbolize loyalty and love. The last Emperor Puyi and his wife Wanrong had their photos taken in front of it on their wedding day.








A minor pathway in the palace complex.  Can’t you just imagine old scholars walking down the path in their long gowns back in the days of the Ming dynasty!








Farewell to the Forbidden City –  a worthy memorial to the great Emperors of China!


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  1. Wow! I want to go there someday. Is it cold there because sometimes cold weather bothers me anyway😁? 🤑 See you next year

    • Yes it does get pretty chilly Marc – but it’s really extraordinary, and you MUST go to see it yourself some day!

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