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Seizing the Forbidden City

Where: Beijing, China
September 17, 2009 at 5:39 PM | by | ()

With the 60th anniversary of China becoming a communist republic approaching October 1, Claire Duffett took a jaunt around the country for the month of September, starting with Beijing. Nowhere does old and new China collide than in its Capital, and for the next five days, we'll share with you the most up-to-date tidbits on what to see and do, and how many yuan it will set you back.

The Forbidden City shows that Chinese penchant for the grandiose began centuries ago. From 1420 to 1624, 24 successive emperors surrounded themselves with concubines and eunuchs, thus populating the grounds of what is really a city in and unto itself with 980 buildings still standing.

On first inspection, it becomes evident how the Ming Dynasty got wrapped up in its self-made cocoon and lost track of what was going on outside those 26-foot-high, red walls, allowing enemy forces to eventually seize power in the 17th century.

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