"Imperial Palace - The Central Axis: I" Top 5 Page for this destination Shenyang Things to Do Tip by mke1963
Shenyang Things to Do: 82 reviews and 132 photos
The Daqingmen, or Daqing Gate, is best seen from the street outside, where from the back of the plaza, the golden rooftops promise so much exploration beyond. The five-bay gateway is now closed and locked, and the entrance to the palace complex is just to the west of the Wugongmen archway which straddles the street outside. The eastern archway, just 100 metres away is the Wendemen; officials were forbidden to pass these gates on horseback and had to dismount before arriving at the gateway. As with all imperial entrances, the officials and courtiers entered through the side doorways of the Daqingmen, with the central gateway reserved for the emperor.
On entering the palace complex, the back of the Daqingmen is to your right, with the Chongzheng Hall straight in front: it is a pity that the visitor does not get to experience the Chongzheng from the front first as it is impressive – much more subtle and graceful than most of the structures in Beijing’s Forbidden City, but sadly spoilt now by scattered arrays of cheap potted plants and often loudspeaker gantries.
Originally, the building was slightly simpler: Emperor Qianlong added the platform in front of the hall, the interior screens and the throne, and apparently the sundial in front.
Behind the Chongzheng Hall is a wonderful courtyard, shaded by trees – spoilt only by the unbelievably crass placement of a commercial drinks vending machine in the main entrance doorway. The courtyard, and the subsequent one beyond the Fenghuang Tower are considerably more intimate than those in Beijing, feeling more like a royal home. On either side of the wide but shallow square are four small buildings used as offices and residences for princes at various times.
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