Civilizations of the world: Chinese
Chinese civilization is almost 4000 years old. Civilization in this East Asian country is recognized as one of the four great ancient civilizations of the world. It began along the Yellow River in the Shang era and spread from there when Bronze Age culture reached its peak. Ancient China is worldwide known for the rich culture and which is still evident in Modern China. Chinese civilization started when Qin Shi Huang conquered the various warring states and created for himself the title of Huangdi or “emperor” of the Qin in 221 BC.
Some of the prominent features of Chinese ancient culture are as follows:
– Pictographic Characters for Writing
– Writing, Literature and Historical Records
– The Style of Arts and Crafts
– A Preference for Jade
– Tea Culture
– The Silk Culture
– Martial arts
– Visual arts
– Philosophy and religion
Chinese architecture in the period was also considerably notable during the civilization period and even today. The works are mainly of timber, wooden posts, beams, lintels, and joists that make up the framework of a house. Along with bilateral symmetry, the use of enclosed open spaces, the incorporation of ideas related to feng shui for directions, and more.
Historically Chinese civilization is considered as a dominant culture of East Asia, with China being one of the earliest civilizations of the world. From becoming one of the most developed countries in the world to power ranking, China has grown exponentially over the years. Architecture had also seen a great raise and the civilization period did definitely paved the ways to better architecture forms.
Below mentioned are five types of Ancient Chinese architecture:
1. Imperial Palaces
These palaces were built on a grand scale to showcase the lifestyle of emperors. Each successive emperor contributed grandeur to the structures, and today, these palaces stand for all to the joy. These structures depict the creative essence and traditions of the Chinese people.
The Forbidden City and Shenyang Imperial Palace are examples of imperial palace structures in China.
2. Defensive Walls
Most of the ancient Chinese cities were surrounded by a set of walls and these often served the purpose of defensive walls.
A prominent example of the structure is The Great Wall, as it is the longest ancient architectural structure and has a winding path over rugged mountains around Beijing and the Mongol border, from a beach in East China to a West China desert corridor between tall mountain ranges.
Xi’an Ancient City Wall and Pingyao City Wall are the two major examples of this structure.
3. Altars and temples
These important components of Chinese culture provide ceremonial sites for offering prayers and sacrifices to heaven. Sacrifices were also offered to the moon, the sun, the earth, the mountains, scholars, and ancestors.
Temple of Heaven, the place where emperors undertook an annual pilgrimage during the winter to pray to heaven for a good harvest for the year ahead falls under one of the prominent examples of Altar and temple type of architecture in China.
The ancient Chinese culture believed that the spirit lived on even after the death of the human body. Mausoleums were built in order to honor those who had moved on to the other dimension. Mausoleums display art, calligraphy, and carvings. The standard design of a Mausoleum includes walls around the structure, four open doors facing in each direction, and four turrets (one on each corner).
The Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang, Qianling Mausoleum, and the 13 Ming Tombs are the most famous examples of Chinese Mausoleum.
Though pagodas are native to India, these octagonal towers were introduced to China along with the introduction of Buddhism. Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xishuangbanna’s White Pagoda, Iron Pagoda, Kaifeng, and The Three Pagodas in Dali are major examples of pagoda type of architecture in China