The imperial palace housed 24 successive emperors, beginning in the 1400s and lasting through the Ming and Qing Dinasties.

With 900-plus rooms (9 is a lucky number in China), 79 halls, and enough room to house 3,000 concubines (aged 13 to 17, and often executed at the end of their “term”), this place defines the word “impressive.”

Just the stone and tile work alone are marvels The Marble Royal Ramp leading to Baoke Hall is the single largest carved piece of stone in the world. And The Forbidden City is home to the largest collection of preserved wooden structures.

But the sheer size of the place makes one feel isolated and completely irrelevant. Which I suppose we all are at the end of the day. But who really wants to be reminded of that?

Nevertheless, it’s irresistible to ponder the lives of royalty during a time when one couldn’t blog inane thoughts like these, or hit a Starbucks for a quick shot of energy, and accomplishment was built on the backs of millions.

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