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dsc_0105a1I am awe-struck. This is perhaps the most interesting place I have ever visited. The Forbidden City in the center of Beijing, China was the imperial home to Emperors, Empresses, concubines, eunuchs and thousands of servants for nearly 500 years, up through the 1920’s. It is called the Forbidden City because only the royal court was allowed inside the walls. The compound is enormous…it takes more than an hour to walk from one side to the other. There are dozens of beautiful buildings with fabulous roof lines and imperial dragons (the sign of the emperor) and phoenix’s (the sign of the empress). There are marble stairways and huge pavilions where the emperors called the royal court and army generals for assembly. The sculptures are fabulous and symbolic of the power and majesty of the people who tried to rule China harmoniously for centuries. Walking through the city, I was struck by the quiet peacefulness of the palaces and the awesome historical significance of Imperial China. It was breathtaking.

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