Kaitlin McMahan- Post 1
The first time I went outside of the country was a study abroad trip to China. During that trip, the place that stood out to me the most was Tiananmen Square because there new and old building stand side by side. The Palace Museum that holds the Forbidden City and symbolizes Imperial China resides right next to the Great Hall of the People that houses the current government.
The Forbidden City was built during the Ming Dynasty and housed the Emperor, his family, and all of his important advisers from 1420 to 1912. It is built in traditional Chinese palatial architecture and was designed to sit right in the center of China’s capital, Beijing. The whole thing is symmetrical with all of the military advisers’ offices one side, all of the civil advisers’ offices on the other, and the Emperor and his family in the middle totaling 980 buildings all together. And yes if you are wondering that haze in the picture is smog.
The thing I love most about old Chinese Imperial buildings is their extreme attention to detail and patterns. The ceiling above is made entirely out of hand carved wood and is meticulously painted in repeating patterns. Also, almost everything has meaning: the statuettes on the rooftops tell the rank of the building; the arrangements of buildings in threes represents heaven; the yellow coloring represents the emperor. I just found it amazing how much thought was put into every design choice and the striking effect it has as a whole.