Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Forbidden City, Beijing

The Forbidden City, which was a home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, is the best-preserved imperial palace in China and the largest palatial formation in the world. The Forbidden City, situated in the hart of Beijing, consists of 90 palaces and courtyards. There are 980 buildings and 8,704 rooms and few gardens.
In ancient Chinese times, the emperor proclaimed himself as the son of Heaven. The emperors’ palace was built as a replica of the Purple Palace, a God residence in Heaven. The emperor palace was perceived as a divine place and was forbidden to ordinary citizens, visitors, therefore it received the name Forbidden City.
 Forbidden City situated in the heart of Beijing, was by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Imperial Palace Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions world-wide.

 Forbidden City contains of 980 buildings within its walls.

Marvelous painted decorations on the royal palaces.

  Yellow as a symbol of the royal family is the dominant color in the Forbidden City. Roofs were built with yellow glazed tiles, decorations in the palace were painted yellow as well as the pavement stones undergone a special process to appear yellow.
Roof Charms. Decorative dragons and animals, guard the roofs of the Royal palaces in the Forbidden City.  Chinese people believed that they would ward off evil spirits.

 Sundial located on one of the courtyard in the Forbidden City.

Unbelievably large door stopper. 

 The interior of one of the rooms in the Forbidden City.

Beautifully carved furniture, the design is very intricate and stunning.

 The construction of the imperial palace begun in 1407, in the 5th year of the Yongle reign and was completed fourteen years later in 1420.

Beware of the Guardian Foo lion. This statue of lion guards the halls and chambers of the Imperial palace in the Forbidden City. It is one of an example of bronze guardian figures which includes statues of dragons and turtles.

The Hall of Supreme harmony in Forbidden City is guarded by this bronze statue of turtle. Despite its fearsome appearance, the turtle was viewed in China as a symbol of peace.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shanghai's Old Town.

My first impression of Shanghai was super modern and extremely overpopulated. The advertising sings of western products were attacking you on each street corner. The people and the constant jostle in the metro were a bit overwhelming. At first I view Shanghai as any other super modern city, until I found the hidden pearl, the old town. A living history located to the southeast of the city center. This place kept the original Chinese architecture; narrow street, vibrant markets and relatively unchanged life style.

The unique construction of the zig-zag bridge keeps negative energy and bad spirits away from the buildings gates. In ancient China people believed that those harmful spirits cannot navigate corners,
therefore this style of bridge should keep them away from the households.

Drip tiles, made out of terracotta clay resemble bats in the shape. Bates, which symbolize good luck, were commonly used as a decorative motives. Many door knobs in ancient Chinese buildings have bat as a symbol.

 Gold intricate ornaments are decorating the ancient buildings. Gold symbolize not only wealth but also a good fortune.

 The stunning ancient architecture.

Shanghai's green tea street vendors.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Nanjin Road, Shanghai Bussiest Street.

Nanjin Road is a paradise shopping for Chinese people and visitors from around the world. This road is 3.4 mile long, it stretches from the east side of the Bund to the junction of Jin’an Temple and Yan’an Street.
The Nanjin Road is a home to over 600 businesses, you can find here world- famous food venders, upscale boutiques and traditional Chinese stores that sell scissors, jade goods, embroidery, silk and clocks.

Busy, overcrowded Nanjing Road, a paradise shopping.

Visitors from around the world and China come for a stroll or window shopping.

Paradise for scissors lover. This store specialize only in scissors.

Shanghai attracts people form countryside, they are working hard to improve their life conditions.

Night view of Nanjing Road, illuminated with neon signs.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shanghai in my eyes.

Shanghai, located in the  Yangtze River Delta is one of the largest metropolitan area in the world. According to the latest data the number of residents reached 19.21 million at the end of 2009. This dynamic, exciting city offers modern shopping malls, contemporary architecture and traditional Chinese style of buildings, the one that is know to as from old movies. There are temples, classical gardens and streets markets. 
The contrast between the modern and the traditional is visible at every step. Personally,  I think that the contrast makes Shanghai one of the most interesting city to visit.

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is located in Pudong Park in Lujiazui, Shanghai, this 468 meters tower is the world's third tallest TV and radio tower.

The Bund, famous waterfront is known as a symbol of Shanghai. It stretches along Haungpu River, form Wainbaidu Bridge to Nanpu Bridge. Along Bund on the west site are situated 26 buildings representing different architectural style: Gothic, Classicism, Renaissance and Baroque.
A boat with large commercial banner, Shanghai is very commercialized. The neon are beautifully illuminating skyscrapers, and others buildings in Shanghai. The new face of the metropolis emerges after dusk.

The Russian Consulate in Shanghai dates to the mid-nineteenth century when a temporary Consulate of Russia opened in this city. The building from the architecture point of view became one of the best among city’s consular offices and one of the most beautiful Russian diplomatic missions abroad.

At first sight you see that Shanghai is a showcase of Chinese business. The center of Shanghai is filled with architectural gems, the renown high designer brands are competing to attract more customers. Shanghai left me with the impression of power and money.