This is one of the most famous postcards in Beijing, which competes with the Great Wall of China, and visiting the Forbidden City is one of the programs that must be visited. You need to prepare for several things.
First, you have to come here. Access is very easy, because the subway station makes you practically at the entrance of the complex. Then you have to face the x-ray line. The Chinese government is very strict about security, and you will go through this at various times on your trip to China: at each subway station, for example, you will be searched.
Foreigners do not have to show a passport to visit the Forbidden City, but Chinese people must show their identity cards. I honestly don’t know the reason. But I found some interesting info about China at https://www.touristsecrets.com/. You should visit the site to get some useful information.
After the security wall is complete, you must buy a ticket. The Forbidden City has four gates, but the entrance is made by the Gate of Heaven, which is right in front of Tiananmen Square, where the famous portrait of Mao Zedong. This is where you buy a ticket.
The queue is usually large. But I was lucky and did not wait long – less than five minutes. With tickets in hand, you can pass through the main gate to visit the Forbidden City.
City of the Empire
After passing through the Gate of Heaven, you will be moved to another time. The entire complex, full of buildings, towers, gardens and surrounded by trenches as high as six meters, is considered to be the largest imperial palace in the world. Here, the dynasty ruled the entire territory of China from 1420 to 1912, when the Republic was founded.
Surviving a vicious attack and war – like World War II – visiting the Forbidden City takes a long time: You will spend all morning or evening here. In particular, I feel that the visit is rather tiring, because from a certain point it all seems a bit repetitive. Also, that place is a real maze. So if you don’t pay attention to where you are going, you may be circling throughout your life.
Outside the Gate of Heaven, the Supreme Harmony Palace, where emperors are crowned and performing their official ceremonies, is a must. Only you cannot enter any temple. So we have to press the door to see something.
In the Imperial Garden you will walk among old trees, many of them with plaques that identify species and age. If it wasn’t for many people walking around and doing photo poses around here, this place would be ideal for relaxing and meditating a little.
In all buildings, courtyards and parks, there are many elements of Chinese symbology. When visiting the Forbidden City, you will see two lions at the entrance of several buildings. They mean strength and protection. Also, in Buddhism, lions are divine animals. Dragons, which are in many places in the Forbidden City, mean success and prosperity. Therefore, it is also common to give friends and family objects that have dragons on it.
They are beautiful and full of detail.
Stork is another animal that is widely used in Chinese culture. It seems to symbolize longevity and purity, and often adorns the yard and roof of the house and the temple. Color also has an important meaning in this country. Yellow, for example, is the color of the empire. For this reason, the roof of the Forbidden City was painted in this color, and no other building was, during the empire, yellow.
The Forbidden City is a symbol of China’s elegance as a great country. You haven’t visited China if you haven’t visited the city.