This residence of ancient rulers, immortalised in the film The Last Emperor by Bernardo Bertolucci (1987), incites admiration and recalls the grandeur of Old China. The highest seat of power, betrayal, and conspiracies, the ‘Purple Forbidden City' is to the Chinese what Versailles is to the French : a quaint and touching relic of a bygone era that continues to pervade the soul of the country. Under the snow are buildings of unsurpassed grandeur that invite meditation. Though much of the furniture is now in the Taipei National Palace Museum in Taiwan — Chiang Kai-shek took it there when Mao came into power — the magic of the place is contained in its complex architecture, which permeates all the ancient monuments of the city. Yellow, the imperial colour, dominates, together with red for prosperity. The emperor, who bore the title of ‘Son of Heaven' made this principal residence the jewel in the crown, the symbol of his power and the eternal legacy of Chinese architectural art.
4 Jing Shan Qian Jie
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