Monday, June 2, 2008

China Day 03: Rats in a Maze

We have hit the halfway point in our passage through the Forbidden City and are now entering the "family quarters". The emperor's original official residence, "The Palace of Heavenly Purity", occupies the center of this back half, but we didn't go to see it. Instead, we ducked into the Western Long Corridor
which runs along the left side of the P of HP. This corridor is punctuated by side corridors
leading to enclosed courtyards, which were where the various concubines and their children would live.

The entrances to the Western Long Corridor and to many of the side corridors are beautifully decorated:
I think this is some kind of glazed tile.

The residential courtyards all have lovely names:
One I didn't photograph is the "Palace of Mental Cultivation" which was the residence of later emperors. However, the crown of them all, or perhaps the cheese in the center of the maze was yet to come...

[The anticipation will be more effective if you imagine an ominous music cue at this point.]

More to come!

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