This is the Tiananmen Gate entrance to the Forbidden City. I'm standing in Tiananmen Square.
Changing of the (Red) Guard.
The statistics are mind boggling (these are all from Wikipedia): construction was begun in 1406 and took 15 years--and one million workers (!). Home to 24 emperors (the last left in 1912). The world's largest surviving palace complex: 980 surviving buildings, 8,707 bays of rooms.
These are imperial roof decorations (only imperial buildings could have them). The number (usually odd) of figures indicated status.
The roofs are yellow because yellow is the color of the emperor.
It was, of course, quite crowded, so we walked through the side buildings, the "minor" buildings where concubines, eunuchs, and children would have lived. It was lovely and uncrowded...
An absolutely amazing place...the details were so beautiful.