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December 4, 2019
Before I went to Beijing, I had no idea that The Forbidden City even existed, but I learned so much about it while I was there and now I can’t even believe I got to experience such a special place. The Forbidden City is the imperial palace where emperors lived from 1420 to 1912. It’s called The Forbidden City because no one was allowed in unless invited in. But here’s the catch: once you’re in, you can’t leave. So all the peasants and normal people were never allowed in, but if you were (to work, be a concubine, entertain, whatever), you had to stay inside The Forbidden City walls for the rest of your life. Seriously! This was to keep the Emperor safe.
But once you visit it, you see how that’s really not a super huge deal – this place is enormous! In fact, The Forbidden City is considered “world’s largest palace by area enclosed within the palace’s fortified walls.” This imperial palace covers an area of 178 acres, is made up of 980 buildings with a combined floor space of 1,614,600 square feet. Like, damn. I’ve been to Versailles and that place has nothing on The Forbidden City. Although I would definitely prefer to live at Versailles. The Forbidden City has no trees. The emperors were afraid people would hide behind them and jump out and kill them. I’m not even kidding. Either these mofos were paranoid af, or they be doin some shady shit.
Inside The Forbidden City is now The Palace Museum. There are ancient artworks and artifacts in the museum, as well as a separate room of clocks and another jewelry museum. These were both really amazing. I would definitely suggest paying the extra 10cny each!
I had so much fun roaming the grounds and exploring. It was so surreal to be walking the same steps emperors walked hundreds of years ago. It really is an incredible experience! Now I think I need to make it my mission to visit more palaces!