Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Manchu kings

Although the Palace in Shenyang is built on the same plan as the earlier Forbidden City in Beijing, it shows a significant influence from the nomadic heritage of its builders. I'm not an expert, but I can see definite hints of it. Here, for example, is where military parades took place. The Emperor would have been in Dazheng Hall, which is the roughly hexagonal building at the far end. It's shaped rather like a Mongolian ger, the circular tent used by nomads in China's frigid north.

Note also the small buildings that line the square. These were occupied by military leaders when they gathered for ceremonies or strategizing. They are small and simple, and reminiscent of a commander's tent in the field.

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