Samstag, 8. September 2012

Beautiful Shenyang - Imperial Palace

When it comes to environment, living atmosphere and beauty, Shenyang does have a bad reputation. It is considered to be a polluted, grey, noisy and dirty industrial centre with a lack of green and/or beautiful spots, nature, parks, etc. Somewhat like the "ugly duckling" of Chinese metropoles.

Well, after almost exactly one year in this town I beg to differ.

 First of all, none of China`s big cities is bound to win a beauty price in the foreseeable future. That lowers the benchmark for Shenyang, which is in no way worse than other cities.

To back up my point of view I´ll open up a new column where starting with this post every now and then some impressions of nice and beautiful spots and places here in Shenyang will be shown.

"Old" and "new" China in one picture
 We`ll naturally start with the most known tourist attraction of ths city - the Imperial Palace. It`s kind of a second, smaller "Forbidden City".

The last Chinese Imperial Dynasty were the Manchus, they ruled the country from 1644 till the end of the Chinese Empire in 1911.

In contrast to the predecessing dynasties they didn´t belong to to the majority of Han Chinese, they were an ethnic minority living here in Northeastern China, with Shenyang as their capital.
 Construction on the Shenyang Palace already started before they took over ruling China, later the Manchus moved to Beijing. Still the palace here stayed kind of a secondary, a "summer residence".

It combines styles of Han, Manchu and Mongolian architecture and with it`s nice gardens offers more variety for the visitor than its bigger brother in Beijing does. But see for yourself on the following pictures. Click on them to see them enlarged.
 If you want to know more about Shenyang`s Imperial Palace and its history, you can for starters visit these pages: - Shenyang Imperial Palace

travel China guide - Shenyang Imperial Palace

Wikipedia - Mukden Palace

Dazheng hall (大政厅)

Emperor`s "dining room"

 And what the the Forbidden City also doesn`t have - a proper-styled fire station in the neighbourhood: