Chinese name 沈阳故宫 (Shěnyáng Gùgōng)
Recommended time for visit 3 hours
Beijing’s Forbidden City was not enough luxury for the Manchurian rulers, and they built their own scaled down version in old Shenyang back in 1636. The impressive monument has 114 buildings, and though not all of them are open to the public, there’s plenty to see, including an old imperial baby cradle.
It was here that Qing Dynasty rulers – starting with Emperor Nuhachi, who built the palace with his son Huang Taiji – resided when the palaces in Beijing were out of season. You can check out their elaborate and beautiful ceremonial halls, living quarters and study areas around the fine central courtyard.
One of the best buildings is the Dazheng Hall (Dàzhèng Diàn; 大政殿), where Nurhachi’s grandson was crowned as Emperor Shunzi. Octagonal in shape with a deep interior throne room (and ornate throne), two pillars coiled with golden dragons and capped with two exquisite eaves, this hall is not to be missed.