Posted by: rbbadger | March 15, 2010

A couple Forbidden City pictures

Chinese palaces, much like Korean palaces, tended to be made out of wood.  Thus, portions of the Forbidden City have been burnt down and successively rebuilt.  You often see these huge cauldrons outside the halls.  They generally held water in the case of fire. 

Here is another photo I’ve never posted.  This is the interior of one of the many halls of the Forbidden City.  The vastness of the place amazes me.  This place was very nearly destroyed.  During the Cultural Revolution, there were calls to raze the Forbidden City completely.  It was through the good offices of Premier Zhou Enlai that it was saved.  The bulk of the imperial treasure is no longer in mainland China.  Rather, it is in Taiwan where it is kept at the National Palace Museum. 

Following the fall of the Nationalists, Chiang Kai-shek and his fellow Kuomintang members fled to Taiwan.  The bulk of the treasures of the Forbidden City followed them to Taipei.  When it became obvious that the Republic of China was not going to take over the mainland anytime soon, the decision was made to exhibit these treasures in a special museum.

Beijing has indicated that they would like to have all of these treasures back.  While they still remain in Taiwan, I believe that some of the treasures have been loaned to museums in mainland China.  But not everything is in Taiwan.  Quite a bit is still at the Forbidden City even now.

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