A bronze tortoise's gaping mouth vented incense smoke during ceremonies in front of the Imperial Palace's Hall of Supreme Harmony. The tortoise symbolized imperial longevity and power.
Rear entrance of the Hall of Supreme Harmony in Beijing's Imperial Palace complex.
A winding stone balustrade lines the Inner Golden River, which meanders through the courtyard separating Meridian Gate (Wu men), entrance to the Imperial Palace, from the Gate of Supreme Harmony leading to the main halls of the complex beyond.
View of the Gate of Supreme Harmony, beyond which lies the Hall of Supreme Harmony to the north in the Imperial Palace complex in Beijing known as the Forbidden City.
Dragon head, detail of carved stone ramp leading to the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Imperial Palace, Beijing.
One of five stone bridges which cross the Inner Golden River in the courtyard beyond Meridian Gate, the entrance to the Imperial Palace.
Lion statues flank the stairs to the Gate of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing men), entrance to the three rear, or inner, palaces of the Forbidden City situated to the north of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, Imperial Palace.
A coiled dragon motif graces the white balustrading on the terraced steps to the Hall of Supreme Harmony in Beijing's Imperial Palace. This view is from the Hall's central terrace looking west.
View of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, foremost of the three central halls in the Imperial Palace complex, from the front courtyard where officials assembled for great court audiences.
View of unrestored rooftops in the Imperial Palace complex, looking east from a Hall of Supreme Harmony terrace.