Chapter

The Western Imperial City

M. A. Aldrich

in The Search for a Vanishing Beijing

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9789622097773
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207585 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622097773.003.0027
The Western Imperial City

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This chapter takes a tour to the Western Imperial City. The tour of the Western Imperial City starts at a place that is strictly off limits for commoners. On the north side of Tian An Men Avenue, the New China Gate is the formal entrance to the Zhong Nan Hai Compound. At the time of writing, Zhong Nan Hai is still a forbidden city in the literal meaning of the term. In line with this, a description of its sights is given. During the reconstruction of Peking, Yong Le enlarged the gardens and dredged the ponds. In 1949, Derk Bodde came across an incident that sparked some symbolic hope for the future of New China. The emotions stirred in the summer of 1900 are still strong, and the ghosts of its victims are under siege again. On October 1, 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized several Catholics martyred during the siege. The Chinese news agencies responded by declaring that they “deserved to die”.

Keywords: Western Imperial City; Tian An Men Avenue; New China Gate; Zhong Nan Hai Compound; Zhong Nan Hai; Pope John Paul II; Peking; New China

Chapter.  8169 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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