Visit to The Mukden Palace
It’s been a while since I have written about my travels to China in 2008 so thought I would write a post about my travels in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province located in the North East of China, bordering the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or as most of us call it North Korea.
My friend Jon and I arrived in Shenyang from Beijing by fast train and having travelled in business class we enjoyed our 303 km/h four-hour trip enormously with our complimentary snack pack, hot tea and bottled water, a blanket and slippers.
The Mukden Palace was the former imperial palace of the early Manchu-led Qing dynasty and was built in 1625. After our breakfast on our second day, we departed our hotel after meeting our local guide and arrived at the palace early which was a great idea as by the time we departed there were many other visitors (including the usual Chinese tour guide with loud speaker!!!). The palace is located in the centre of Shenyang and is located next to modern high-rise buildings.Construction of the palace began in 1625 by the founder of the Qing dynasty and was built to resemble the Forbidden City in Beijing but it also exhibits styles of Manchu and Tibet with its glamorous roofs and exquisite carvings.The first three Qing emperors lived in the palace from 1625 to 1644 and after the Qing dynasty replaced the Ming dynasty in 1644 in Beijing, the Mukden Palace lost its status as the official residence of the Qing emperor and became a regional palace. In 1955 it was converted into the Shenyang Imperial Palace Museum. Then in 2004 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as an extension of the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties or as most people refer to it, the Forbidden City in Beijing.The palace exhibits large collections of jade and ivory (shame!!), furniture, musical instruments and paintings. The stone grounds are vast and trees and plants are extremely well maintained so it was lovely to spend a bit of time before the crowds arrived, walking around and enjoying the blue skies of Shenyang.And then my favourite things to photograph; doorways!By this time we were ready to head off to our next destination, the residence of the warlord of Manchuria (but more on that later).