For a long time of the existence of the Middle State (as the Chinese call their Homeland), numerous unique objects of architectural art have been created, which are still admired to this day. Among them are such masterpieces as magnificent palaces and a variety of ordinary residential buildings, beautiful in their color, towers and gazebos filled with poetry, artful pagodas and bridges that even modern engineers can imagine.
Temples, monasteries, religious buildings.
The original Chinese religion is Taoism, but the Chinese also professed other religions, such as Islam, Buddhism and even Christianity. The places of worship of each religion differ significantly from each other and are called differently in Chinese. Nevertheless, it is Buddhist temples that can be found anywhere in the country and, undoubtedly, are of high cultural, religious, architectural and artistic value. Buddhism was introduced to China from India, but Buddhist architecture has generously absorbed the national Chinese traditions. In the construction of temples in ancient times, the same principle or plan was used: the main gate “shanmen” was located in the center of the front wall, and two bell towers were built in the courtyard of the temple, on both sides of the gate. If we follow further, then along the central axis there was the “Pavilion of the Heavenly God”, then the “Pavilion of the main treasures”, and the “Sutra Repository” in the third courtyard. Cells and a refectory were located on the sides of the courtyards. In their architectural appearance, Buddhist temples in China are close to imperial palace buildings, they are also brilliant and magnificent – this is an important difference between Chinese Buddhist temple complexes. As a rule, such structures were built at a distance from noisy settlements, often such buildings can be found in the mountains. Among these temples, the most famous are four: Wutaishan, Juhuashan, Emeishan, Putoshan.
Chinese pagodas.
Pagodas first appeared in the Indian architectural tradition. Initially, pagodas were placed in India at the burial sites of high-ranking monks, in such structures the ashes of the deceased were stored. Chinese pagodas initially had the shape of a square, later hexagonal, octagonal and even round shapes were used, they were built from all kinds of materials: from wood to stone, and there are even pagodas made of iron and copper, as well as from poured bricks. Ancient Chinese pagodas usually have an odd number of levels, the most common buildings are 5-13 levels. The most famous pagodas in China: The wooden pagoda in Shanxi Province, the “Big Cranes” Pagoda in Xi’an, the Iron Pagoda in Kaifeng, the Pagoda in the Fragrant Mountains in Beijing, the Pagoda in the Kaiyuanxi Monastery in Jinxian County. The wooden 9-level pagoda in Shanxi Province was built almost a thousand years ago and has a height of 70 meters. This is the oldest preserved wooden tower in the world, while it was built using a unique anti-seismic technology, for all these years, not a single earthquake destroyed it.
In order to focus attention on the high position of the emperor, there is always a special grandeur and splendor in the style of palace buildings. Ancient Chinese palaces are usually divided into two parts –ceremonial or official, and everyday or residential. The plan of the palace was built around the axis, which determined the principle of the location of all other buildings. The roofs of palaces were often made multi-level, with upturned corners, which were often decorated with figures of birds and animals. Such roofs gave the contour of the building grace and at the same time carried protective functions – under such roofs, internal structures were more durable. Rainwater flowing down from the roofs was diverted away from the walls and foundations, due to which the wooden walls were not damaged by moisture. The imperial palaces were covered with yellow tiles, which was a symbol of imperial power. For many millennia, the emperors did not spare human labor and material costs for the construction of palaces, striking in their scale. Unfortunately, most of them were victims of fire, since such buildings were traditionally built of wood. To this day, only the Gugong Palace in the center of Beijing (another name for the palace ensemble is “The Forbidden City”) has completely survived. You can often see him in Chinese historical cinema. Now there is a state museum there. The emperors of the Ming and Jin dynasties lived in the Forbidden City. The Taihejian State Pavilion at the Gugong Palace is the largest such pavilion in China.