The Forbidden City – China’s Ancient Capital

The Forbidden City – China’s Ancient Capital


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172 Sayfa 6. Baskı 1979 The Forbidden City China’s Ancient Capital by Roderick MacFarquhar Wonders of Man Newsweek ( ıç Kapak ) The cloistered splendor of the Forbidden City has intrigued and baffled Western visitors to Peking since the days of the illustrious Ming dynasty. Built by Emperor Yung Lo during the first decades of the seventeenth century, this labrinthine complex of audience halls, servants’ quarters, royal apartments, and interconnecting courtyards served the highly specialized needs of China’s emperors and their enormorous retinues for three centuries. The first imperial residence on the site of the Forbidden City was built in 1274 by Kublai Khan, the barbarian conqueror whose armies overran Asia and Europe. His palace was leveled by the conquering Ming less than a century after it had been built, but during those decades its magnificence was recorded in Marco Polo’s extraordinary memoirs. Beautiful as Kublai’s palace was, it was no match for the Ming palace that replaced it. Riding on slim columns of brilliantly lacquered wood, the golden roofs of the Forbidden City lifted gracefully bowed eaves above the sere North China plain. Here China’s last emperors, the Ch’ing, or Manchus, lived in medieval luxury, cut off from their subjects and from the encroaching nineteenth-century world. Intractable, despotic, and intensely xenophobic, the Manchus clung to outmoded tradition in the face of continuing pressure from reform-minded citizens and trade-hungry Westerners. The result of their folly was a series of military humiliations that soon reduced the Chinese to vassalage in their own land, and led perhaps to the cataclysmic revolution of 1911. Only then we the gates of the once-forbidden palace opened to every Chinese citizen. The Forbidden City has remained a popular tourist attraction, and was on President Nixon’s itinerary during his visit to China in 1972. Nearly 150 illustrations, a third in full color, supplement and enhance this det

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