As usual when I am in and around Beijing, I had to pay at Least One visit to Beijing’s Legendary Palace Museum, the Forbidden City. I found it in a rain- & hail-storm, but also sadly (for most visitors) completely under Renovation ! For you – here the latest detailed information on that. The Palace Museum is undergoing extensive renovations, in advance of the 2008 Olympic Games. Reconstruction and renovation of some of the Nei Ting (6 western and 6 eastern) Palaces had already started last November-December 2004, now all of the Nei Ting is under thorough renovation. This means all buildings are shrouded in Bamboo Poles and Green Plastic Netting, sometimes even boarded off completely. Apart from the Nei Ting and Palaces (2nd half or northern half of the Palace Complex), now also under renovation are both East- and West Passages of the South Half of The Palace Museum – starting at Wumen, Past (but not including) TaiHe Men=Gate of Supreme Harmony (which gives access to Harmony Square), buildings East- and West- of Taihe Dian (Hall of Supreme Harmony), ZhongHedian (Hall of Middle Harmony), and BoaHe Dian (Hall of Preserving Harmony). As mentioned above, the Rest of the Palace Museum is also quite hidden from view and really not good for any photography at this Time. In other words – if you plan to come to Beijing and your main interest is the Forbidden City, you may want to postpone your trip for some months (see elsewhere in the Log: Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) – Hall of Prayer for Abundant Harvests is also under renovations and not open to the Public). Of course, there are still plenty of interisting things to see at The Palace Museum. Visit the before mentioned Throne Halls, enjoy the Imperial Jewelry Collection and adjacent Clock Museum (West of Boahedian), find interesting exhibits around the Nei Ting Palace Halls including some relics of Last Emperor Pu Yi’s early Youth and Life. A Bicyle, family photos, his glasses, crayons, schoolmaterials and bicycle are all there to rouse your interest and perhaps dreams.
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