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Guardian | by HydroJen19
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One of a pair of Chinese guardian lions, known also as Imperial guardian lion or stone lions, at the Forbidden City.


They are believed to have powerful mythic protective powers and have traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). Pairs of guardian lions are still common decorative and symbolic elements at the entrances to restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other structures, with one sitting on each side of the entrance.

The lions are always created in pairs, with the male holding the world in his hand and the female holding a cub.


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Taken on April 5, 2011