China 2006 - Beijing Forbidden City

This was my first trip to Beijing, so of course one has to visit the Forbidden City - the old Emperor's Palace that is truly gigantic, covering 10 million square feet with 800 buildings and 8,000 rooms.  Palaces have been on this site for at least 600 years - construction of what you see today started in 1420.  I was quite sick this day, so the pictures are not as varied as I'd like and I never found the Starbucks inside.

The most famous view - of the main gate with the picture of Mao.

Another view of the same gate entrance

Well guarded by the military

Throngs of people pass beneath Mao

Inside the gate - not very crowded !

One of the main buildings inside, guarding the main square

The other side - a portion of the main square





Guardian Lion

Elaborate corner building - note the detail

Up close

More elaborate buildings

Lovely colors

The famous Tiananmen Square - I was too sick to walk over there, so better pictures will have to wait until next time

The royal throne

Fire is a constant threat, so these huge cauldrons are all over - they used to be filled with water to fight fire

Old military uniforms in museums inside the compound

Today's People's Liberation Army standing guard

Fast food !  I was not feeling well, but I'm sure this was the worst food on Earth, with days-old noodles and rice!