- Forbidden Gardens
Forbidden Gardens is an outdoor museum of Chinese culture and history located at 29.807°, -95.777° in Katy,
Greater Houston, Texas, USA. The museum is funded privately by a Chinese businessman named Ira Poon who is interested in sharing his country's history.
Forbidden Gardens takes its name from two of its major features: A 1:20
scale modelof the Forbidden Citywith hundreds of palace buildings and figurines under a 40,000 square foot pavilion, and the small grounds for walking and viewing additional exhibits.
Additional exhibits include a detailed panorama of a scholarly retreat called Lodge of the Calming of the Heart, an outdoor array of 6,000 one-third scale soldiers and chariots from the
Terracotta Armytomb of the first Emperor of Qin, an indoor panorama of a city called the Venice of China ( Suzhou), and rooms exhibiting details of historical architecture and weapons.
Forbidden Gardens is unusual in that it is privately funded, displays extensive models made and shipped from China, and gives a unique view and experience of one of the most interesting times in medieval Chinese history. It originally cost $40 million dollars to construct and only 40 of the 80 acres Poon bought are currently being used. The Terracotta Army display is unique in that the statues are exposed to direct sunlight, unlike the sheltered originals, enabling excellent photography conditions.
The museum is open to the public on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only, if the weather permits. Guided tours are mandatory and included in the price of admission. The museum is, as of 2007, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with tours at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. Admission gates close at 3:30 and no one will be admitted after this time. Visitors may join the last tour up until 3:30, but they will not be able to go back and see exhibits they have missed. One may not walk the museum on your own.
* [http://www.forbidden-gardens.com/ Forbidden Gardens website]
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