Forbidden City

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Palace Marco Polo Called 'Greatest Ever' May Have Been Found

Yuan-era foundation found beneath the Forbidden City

(Newser) - In the 13th century, Kublai Khan—grandson of Genghis Khan—conquered China, effectively ruling over all of it from Beijing. The Mongolian bestowed upon his dynasty a Chinese name, Yuan, and built a palace that Marco Polo described as "the greatest ... that ever was," with a vermilion, yellow,...

Forbidden City to Get More Forbidden

Beijing attraction to limit tourists for fear of damage

(Newser) - A week after Michelle Obama toured Beijing's Forbidden City , China has announced the former imperial palace won't open its doors to quite so many tourists, amid fears that the traffic is damaging the site, Reuters reports. How those numbers currently stack up: more than 14 million tourists each...

Secret to Building the Forbidden City? Sleds

Workers used them to push massive rocks over ice long distances

(Newser) - How on earth did 15th-century laborers transport hundred-ton rocks from a quarry more than 40 miles away to the building site of China's Forbidden City? Wisely, it turns out, reports Nature . A newly translated ancient document reveals the trick: They put the slabs on wooden sleds and pushed them...

Forbidden City Opens Its Doors—to Virtual Eunuchs

Second Life-style game allows tourists to enter Chinese palace complex

(Newser) - It's now possible to visit one of Beijing's premier tourist sights without having to worry about bad air quality or hard-to-get visas, Reuters reports. A new computer game allows users to experience the Qing emperor's Forbidden City complex as member of his court, embodying any character from soldier to eunuch—...

Daring Architecture Energizes Beijing

Some buildings work, some don't, but overall vibe among residents is a good one

(Newser) - Some of the world’s most adventurous architects have found a gung-ho partner in Beijing, the most noticable payoff being the soon-to-be completed CCTV headquarters—"a dazzling reinvention of the skyscraper," writes Paul Goldberger in the New Yorker. Other creations, such as an ovoid peforming arts center dismissed...

Chinese Opera House Opens

(Newser) - Armed ballerinas and a song by former Chinese president Jiang Zemin today celebrate the opening of Beijing's controversial National Grand Theater, a $360 million modern arts complex built in the shadow of the Forbidden City. The Red Detachment of Women, however, is a traditional touch—it's one of eight plays...

China Puts Lid on Macchiatos, Controversy

Beijing—respectfully—forbids Starbucks in Forbidden City

(Newser) - Starbucks has closed its outlet in Beijing's Forbidden City after seven years of controversy. The coffee shop had become a symbol for the intrusion of foreign culture in China's heritage, culminating in protests and government intervention. "It was a very congenial decision," a Starbucks official said. "We...

Forbidden City Gets Starbucks to Go

Chain 'respectfully' withdraws from historic site at heart of Beijing

(Newser) - Starbucks shuttered its store in Beijing’s Forbidden City yesterday, ending months of controversy over the American chain’s presence at the former imperial palace. The 600-year-old complex, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, is now a museum where the caffeine titan opened its doors in...

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