We’re going to a PALACE!? say whaaat?
My trip to the palace occured during my second week at ICLP, before we’d started classes. This post, unfortunately, is going to be very lame because after a long lecture on “How to Succeed at ICLP,” me and my classmates were all pretty much brain dead as we public-transited ourselves to the National Palace Museum or [ 故宫 ] gu gong, as the locals here have been calling it.
Further more, once inside the palace, we couldn’t take any photos.
Security guards confiscate any big backpacks and water bottles. Photography is not allowed as the flash may ruin some of the precious artifacts found inside the museum.
But at least I can share how pretty the outside is!
Plus, while in Taiwan, I’ve found many different ways to make wishes (just wait for my Shi Fen post 😉 )
After climbing the stairs to the (almost) top, you will find this “wishing well.” We were told by our field trip leader that if you make a wish and are able to throw a coin through the one of the holes (though we weren’t sure which one) your wish will come true.
That, or it’s all a ruse by the museum to take peoples money…
But it looks like they’d need it to keep this up.
Inside the museum we saw lots of Shineys, and a lot of old Chinese bronze, which due to oxidation over time, had turned from a shiny golden color to an aged brown. We also walked through the Chinese brush paintings and calligraphy section, though I desperately wanted to see the ceramics.
I did have a bit of a headache and was craving a cup of pipping hot coffee, and so I did not retain as much during the tour as I might have liked.
We saw this famous jade cabbage and this famous meat stone–the image is, again, a photo that I found on google [linked if you click].
They were smaller than I’d thought they’d be.
If you look closer you can see a bit of a grasshopper at the top of the cabbage. The historians believe the Cabbage was a wedding gift for a new bride, because of the symbolism behind the white cabbage–purity–and the grasshoppers–fertility.
Here are some bullet points of stuff I thought was interesting enough to take note of in my phone while at the museum. If your into history, or just want to learn more about Chinese and Taiwanese culture–then perhaps looking into these matters further might be a fun project =).
- People in Ancient China used huge vases filled with water to see their reflections because the mirror hadn’t yet been invented.
- the character [ 鉞 ] or yue means battle-axe.
- [ 千字文 ] or Qian Zi Wen, translates as 1000 Character Writing and was used like a textbook for Chinese to practice their characters. If you could write it by heart, then you were well educated.
- For Chinese Landscape paintings, if you see nothing painted–it means there is water in that place.
- Ming Dynasty introduced the concept of “painting the world as you see it, not as it is.”