For a long time of the existence of China numerous unique objects of architectural art were created, which are admired to this day. These include such masterpieces as magnificent palaces, and a variety of common residential buildings, towers and pavilions, pagodas and bridges that fascinate even modern engineers.
Daoism is considered original Chinese religion, however, the Chinese profess other religions as well, such as Islam, Buddhism and even Christianity. Religious buildings in each religion are significantly different from each other and have different names in Chinese. Nevertheless, Buddhist temples are the ones that can be found anywhere in the country. They are of a high cultural, religious, architectural, and artistic value.
During the construction of temples in ancient times, the same principle was used: the main gate tianmen were located in the center of the front wall, and in the courtyard of the temple, on either side of the gate, two bell towers were built. The Pavilion of the Heavenly God was located on the central axis, and then there was the main pavilion of treasures, and Storage sutras in the third courtyard. On each side of the courtyard there was a refectory and cells. By its architectural appearance Buddhist temples in China are close to the imperial palace buildings, they are just as resplendent and magnificent – the important difference of Chinese Buddhist temple complexes.
Typically, the temples were built at a distance from the busy settlements, often, these buildings can be found in the mountains. Among these temples the most famous are the following: Mount Wutai, Mount Jiuhua, Mount Emei, and Mount Putuo.
Chinese pagodas at first took the form of a square, and later began to be of hexagonal, octagonal and even round shapes, erected them from all sorts of materials – wood, stone, iron, copper, and bricks. Ancient Chinese pagodas usually have an odd number of levels, the most common constructions are of 5-13 levels.
The most famous pagodas in China are Wooden Pagoda in Shanxi, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an, Iron Pagoda in Kaifeng, and Huong Pagoda in Beijing.
Wooden Pagoda in Shanxi that consists of 9 layers was built almost a thousand years ago and has a height of 70 meters. It is the oldest surviving wooden tower in the world, at the same time it is built on a unique anti-seismic technology, none of earthquakes destroyed it.
In order to focus on the high position of the emperor, a special grandeur and splendor was required in the style of the palace buildings. The ancient Chinese palaces are usually divided into two parts – official and residential. The plan of the palace is built around an axis, which defines the principles of the location of all the other buildings. To this day only one such palace has survived – Forbidden City in the center of Beijing.
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