Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square – Beijing, China

24 Apr

Author: Kendal

The entrance to the Forbidden City - built from 1406 to 1420

About to enter the Forbidden City - unfortunately it was a pretty smoggy day

While in China we visited both the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Since where we were staying was only about a couple of miles away we were able to walk to the Forbidden City. While walking a nice man started talking with us and his English was very good. He asked about the USA, movies like the Titanic, and where we were from etc… after 5 blocks or so Keegan, Mom and I started falling back because we knew that he would want money for something, so we let dad deal with him (my dad had read about young people posing as art students to get you to their studio to “view” their work but then they expect a lot of money for their art before you can leave the studio). I saw my dad and this man exchange some words and then the man walked away. We heard him say to my dad, “Why are you so tense?” My dad said that he told him, “I’m sorry but don’t want to see your art and I have no money”.  Dad said that ended their relationship.  After a while it gets annoying when people follow you for blocks and keep asking you to buy something even though you say, no thank you, politely but we’ve learned to deal with it.

In the Forbidden City and no, we don't know the guy on the left. The Forbidden City consists of 980 buildings and covers 7,800,000 square feet - it's huge!

When we finally reach the Forbidden City we went in line to buy our tickets, it was so crowded with people.  I can only imagine how busy it gets during the busy season. The Forbidden City was the Chinese Imperial Palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty.  For almost 500 years, it served as the home of Emperors and their households. It is a huge part of Chinese history.

The Throne in the Hall of Preserving Harmony

Here's Keegan running around outside the Palace of Heavenly Purity

A Guardian Lion in the Forbidden City

Visitors include many Chinese people from all over China (and China is huge) as well as people from other countries. Chinese people are always taking pictures of us, and this day was no different, they aren’t used to seeing different ethnicities in their country so we were always getting stared at and people often took our picture in China.  A couple teenage boys were really nice and polite and asked if they could take a picture with us, we said, “sure”.  Then we asked if we could take their picture with us as well, they were happy to pose.

Here are the nice boys we took pictures with . . .

We enter the city and the view is breathtaking and amazingly huge.  There are buildings all over the place which are all used for something different.  It was pretty nice because while we were in China we watched the movie The Last Emperor so we saw the Forbidden City in full action with all the Unics and how they lived in the Forbidden City.

Leaving the Forbidden City

Unfortunately Mom got really sick while in Beijing so we had to go and do some of the sight seeing without her. The heavy smog didn’t help my mom get better any quicker either.  While she was sick we went to Tiananmen Square. Tiananmen Square is a large square in the center of Beijing. It was originally the Tiananmen Gate to the Forbidden City, the gate was demolished in 1950 and Tiananmen Square was enlarged.  Tiananmen square also holds a Mausoleum where Chairman Mao’s body is laying for people to view.  He was the founding leader of the People’s Republic of China.

Dad – Back in 1989 student-run demonstrations aimed at continued economic reform and liberation took place, and at the beginning it was peaceful. Then the demonstrations turned more aggressive and turned into expressions for mass political reform and freedom of press. Well the peaceful nature did not last and the government shut out all global media by banning foreign press from their country and then declared martial law on May 20, 1989 and on June 4th military action occurred better know as the “June Fourth Incident” or the “June Fourth Massacre”. People believe that the violence took place in the Tiananmen Square but the majority actually took place in the streets of Beijing. No one really knows how many people were killed, some say hundreds and some say thousands. But in the end the Chinese government prevailed.

In Tiananmen Square with the Forbidden City in the background; Tiananmen Square was built in 1415 during the Ming Dynasty

In Tiananmen Square with the Monument to the People's Heroes and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong in the background

Tiananmen Square in the middle of Beijing, China; the 3rd largest city square in the world at over 970 acres!


Posted by on April 24, 2012 in China


2 responses to “Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square – Beijing, China

  1. Aunt Nancy

    April 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Great post Kendal!! It sounds like an incredible place! Also, lovin’ the new hair color!

  2. Carey

    April 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    AMAZING!!! Sorry mom didn’t feel well! Love the information!


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