Gu Gong, as the Chinese call it. A not-to-be-missed sight in Beijing. With a supposedly huge total of 9999 rooms (because only heaven could have 10,000 rooms) it was the Imperial residence to the 24 emperors who ruled during the Ming and Qing dynasties; it IS the largest palace in the world. This is the most vivid reminder of China’s Imperial past.
Completed in 1422, this grandiose maze of courtyards and ceremonial halls surrounded by towering walls is designed to make you feel tiny. And it does. It was very very exciting to think what actually went on around there in in ancient times! Here the emperors lived in surroundings of ultimate opulence and luxury, surrounded by hundreds of concubines and the eunuchs who acted as the emperors’ attendants. During those times, common Chinese were not allowed to enter the city, so they now do so by the millions!
A sad note: the staff in the souvenir shops looked so bored and uninterested that you think their goldfish had died.
Here’s a tip: wear comfortable shoes and go slow. The scale of the grounds is overwhelming. Get one of the GPS-based audio tours (available in many languages) and cost 40 yuan to rent. (with a RMB100 refundable deposit). Go there to savour the history and admire the architecture and remember it for what it was- it was fantastic and still is!
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.