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Why was Europe First?

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  Quote Siege Tower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why was Europe First?
    Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 07:28
trust me it was true
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 09:40
Originally posted by BigL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moveable_type


Forget Wiki. If you feel comfortable, I am going to edit the whole article for you. Then you can quote again from Wiki.
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 09:47
Originally posted by Earl Aster

BigL, my grandfather is a bookbinder and thus i think i am in a position to say that Gutenberg DID invent the printing press.


Good to hear. I

 was not 100% sure, to be honest, because the misconception about the invention of the printing press is so widespread. But wherever I have looked, I have never found in a serious source a reference to an East Asian printing press prior to Gutenberg. Not a shred of information.

The problem seems to be that people are careless with their language and confuse the invention of movable type with the printing press. But these are actually two very different things.

Again, the printing press was invented by Gutenberg.
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 10:12
Originally posted by Hrothgar

In terms of architectural heritage and works of art i think Europe has no peer.

i went to China two summers ago and really, outside of the tourist traps of the Great Wall, the forbidden palace, and some museums, there's really nothing noteworthy.


I believe we are on the same wavelength here. I would also add Islamic architecture. In the combination of size, amount and quality extant Christian and Muslim ancient architecture is second to none on the globe.

Much, perhaps most of ancient architecture is to be found in huge belt which stretches from Western Europe over the Middle East to Northern India. To be sure, there are many, many formidable buildings to be found outside this area, but the density of architectural remains in this belt is simply unrivalled.

And you know why? At first, I had no clue, but then it struck me all at once! It was the Roman heritage! Both Islam and Christianity drew much of its architectural concepts from the Roman monumental building. Roman architecture, notably the routine use of stone arches and the dome, gave these two civilizations such a broad base to build upon that they surpassed all other contemporary civilizations in terms of stone architecture.

That is not to take from the others away, many peoples have erected magnificent buildings in their time, but since 1 AD I feel that the combined Romano-Christian-Islamic constructing tradition was overwhelmingly dominant.



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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 12:46
"In terms of architectural heritage and works of art i think Europe has no peer.

i went to China two summers ago and really, outside of the tourist traps of the Great Wall, the forbidden palace, and some museums, there's really nothing noteworthy."
 
What kind of comment is that? That is a totally Orientlaist and bias view. First of all, you never been to all China and Beijing is only a city of whole China and its certainly not the oldest city of China. Secondly, Chinese buildings were made primarly from woods (prone to fire) and thus only few very old wood buildings have been preserved.

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  Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 12:53
Secondly, Chinese buildings were made primarly from woods
Therefore you prove his point, that in terms of architectural heritage Europe has no peer.
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  Quote Dream208 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 13:11
Originally posted by Chilbudios

Secondly, Chinese buildings were made primarly from woods
Therefore you prove his point, that in terms of architectural heritage Europe has no peer.
 
Why is stone building better than the wood building? artisitcally speaking?
Should you judge a building only by its age? Or should we look from a wider perspective?
 
Please help me here, why is it the fact that Chinese mainly wood as building material makes Chinese artithect inferior?
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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 14:05
No, one major reason why Chinese perfer use woods over other materials is that China was prone to earthquakes. This is no surprise that China invented the Seismometer in 132 AD during the Han Dynasty whereas Europe did not have such device until late 19th century.
 
Remember, China invented the casting irons and mass-producing steels centuries before Europeans and the perferance over woods had to do more with the probelms of earthquakes, artisic expression (whereas realism is emphasized in West), and probably the access to building materials.
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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 14:09

"Therefore you prove his point, that in terms of architectural heritage Europe has no peer."

What kind of bias statement is that? The Maya used stones to build pyramid and does that mean it was more superior to ancient China in terms of technology?
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 14:38
Originally posted by Kids

Secondly, Chinese buildings were made primarly from woods (prone to fire) and thus only few very old wood buildings have been preserved.
 
@Kids
 
I see the intention here, but you're not doing the Chinese much justice with this statement. Yes, there are many great Chinese feats of architecture lost to us because of fire (totally sucks, but at least we have ancient murals on Chinese tomb walls to depict what the earliest looked like), but there are still many impressive feats of Chinese architecture present before the Early Modern Age (late Ming and then Qing era). Take for instance, China's building of pagodas, multistory towers that were mostly dedicated to the ideology of Buddhism, but had a wide range of uses, like storing Buddhist texts, or acting as vantage points to scout enemy troops, or acting as light beacons at port for incoming ships. Although allempires members here will no doubt point to the grandeur of the Roman bathhouses and coliseums, as well as the Medieval cathedrals as the hallmark of Western architecture, let's not forget what the Chinese accomplished with constructing enormous regal palace complexes, walled, planned-and-gridded cities, and towering multistory pagodas.
 
Building tall architecture was nothing new to the Chinese when the idea of the pagoda spread, since the Chinese had built tall gate-houses, fortified city towers, and scout-towers before. The earliest Chinese pagodas evolved from the idea of the Indian stupa, which had a long tradition in India, and found its way into China during the Eastern Han Dynasty (23 - 220 AD). The earliest pagodas were almost entirely made of wood, and although they were able to stand some tremors and earthquakes, they weren't able to escape the destruction of fires as well as internal insect infestation and natural rot. The earliest wooden pagoda was apparently the White Horse Pagoda in Luoyang, built originally in 67 AD (although the original was destroyed and replaced later). It is recorded that Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty (reigned 581 - 604 AD) issued a decree that all new pagodas built in the empire should follow a central government standard, but unfortunately all the wooden ones are lost, and only the stone pagodas from the Sui era have survived. It is sad we no longer have the ancient wooden pagodas before and during the Tang Era (618 - 907 AD), and can only rely on the Tang-era poet known as Du Mu, who once wrote of the earlier Southern Dynasties period in the 5th and 6th centuries: 480 Buddhist temples of the Southern Dynasties, uncountable towers and pagodas stand in the misty rain. The oldest surviving wooden pagoda in China today is located in Shanxi Province, the 67-meter-tall (219.8 feet tall) Yingxian Pagoda, built in 1056 AD.
 
 
The Yingxian Pagoda (1056 AD)
 
However, long before the Yingxian Pagoda was ever built, the transition to other materials than wood had long before been implemented. The earliest pagoda to be built out of brick was the 40-meter-tall (131.2 feet-tall) Songyue Pagoda in modern-day Henan Province, built in 520 AD during the Northern Wei Dynasty, and has survived in almost mint condition for nearly 1500 years.
 
 
 
The Songyue Pagoda (520 AD)
 
The earliest large-scale stone pagoda is new than the earliest brick pagoda above, and is the four-door pagoda found at Licheng in Shandong Province, built in 611 AD during the Sui Dynasty. However, it is not as impressive in terms of height as the brick-constructed Songyue Pagoda.
 
 
Licheng Pagoda (611 AD)
 
Although the latter two are the earliest known examples of brick or stone pagodas, the earliest known example of brick and stone constructed pagodas was at Xianyang by Wang Jun, built during the first Jin Dynasty after the Three Kingdoms period (265-420 AD), but has since been destroyed. However, the the use of brick and stone was the norm and the most common form of constructing pagodas during the Tang, Song, Liao, and Jin dynasties, stretching from the 7th to the 13th centuries.
 
During the reign of Emperor Gaozong (649 - 683) of the Tang Dynasty, the 64.5 meters-tall (211.6 feet tall) Wild-Goose Pagoda was built, constructed out of brick, and located at modern day Xian (Chang'an) City. The temple and the pagoda itself were used to house Buddhist scriptures gathered from India, some 1,335 Buddhist documents of Sanskrit that were translated meticulously into Chinese script.
 
 
Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Construction date beginning in 652 AD)
 
The so-called "Iron" Pagoda of Kaifeng is actually made of red, brown, blue, and green glazed bricks, and its iron-coloring is a facade that is mistaken from afar, yet the name has stuck on through the centuries. The original was built in 1044 AD during the Northern Song Dynasty, but was struck by lightening and burnt down. Stubborn and reluctant to accept this, the Emperor Renzong ordered that another one be built at the same sight just five years later in 1049 AD, only this time built of fire-resistant glazed bricks, and at a height of 54.66 meters tall (179.28 feet tall). The unique construction uses bricks but follows a design of wooden pagodas. Apertures, tenons, gouges and slots on the bricks are assured different parts to be joined securely. Within the pagoda, there are brick-carvings of buddhas, lions, acrobatic figures, and others that attest to the high level of craftsmenship during the period (as if this hasn't been proved by works of art and sculptures of earlier periods). The brick-glazed pagoda has survived the ages, through torrential rains, fierce winds, earthquakes, and even a massive flooding of the Yellow River in 1841, where the entire city of Kaifeng was under water, the original temple surrounding the pagoda was decimated, yet the central pagoda stood firm, just as stubborn and reluctant as Emperor Renzong was, I suppose. Wink
 
 
The Iron Pagoda of Kaifeng, original wooden one in 1044 AD, this one in 1049 AD
 
The original Liu-he Pagoda (Six-Harmonies Pagoda in English) of Hangzhou was built in the year 970 AD, but was destroyed by conflict and battle. It was rebuilt in 1152 AD out of brick and wood, standing 13 stories tall at roughly 60 meters (196.5 feet). A bright lamp installed in the top allowed it to also serve as a lighthouse, but it was built in dedication of Buddhism, in reference to the six regulations of Buddhism, as well as the six Chinese directions (heaven, earth, north, south, east, and west).
 
 
Liu-he Pagoda (1152 AD)
 
Also, something interesting to note about Chinese architecture, a practice that was not seen in the West for centuries after the Chinese had innovated it, was the earliest segmental arch bridge in the world, the Anji Bridge, and ironically the oldest surviving stone bridge in China. Its construction began in 595 AD, and was completed ten years later in 605 AD. It is a single segmental stone arch, composed of 28 individual arches bonded transversely, 37.02m in span and rising 7.23m above the chord line. Narrower in the upper part and wider in the lower, the bridge averages 9m in width. The main arch ring is 1.03m thick with protective arch stones on it. Each of its spandrels is perforated by two small arches, 3.8m and 2.85m respectively in clear span, so that flood water can be drained and the bridge weight is lightened as well. This is to be set apart from the Roman bridges, which were semi-circle arch bridges. The oldest European segmental arch bridge is the Ponte Vecchio, Florence, from 1335 AD, and with a span of 30 m. Due to its historical value, it was the only bridge in Florence spared from destruction by the Nazis who were fleeing and retreating from the city. However, not to outdo the Romans, they were responsible for enormous, large-scale semi-circle bridges and aqueducts, like Trajan's enormous bridge over the Danube for example (which doesn't survive today, only the pillars of it underwater).
 
IPB Image
IPB Image
 
The Anji Bridge (595 - 605 AD)
 
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 26-Sep-2006 at 14:55
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 18:16
Another interesting fact to note is that the largest palace ever built on earth in history is probably the Weiyang Palace of the Han dynasty.



"Chang'an (today's Xi'an City of Shaanxi Province) was the capital of China in the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), and was constructed and expanded on the basis of the Xingle Palace of the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC). The northern rampart was close to Weishui River and southern rampart was built along walls of the Palace. Buildings in the Chang'an City were mainly palaces, among which the Changle Palace and the Weiyang Palace were the most famous ones.


The Weiyang Palace, situated in southwestern Chang'an (5 kilometers from today's Xi'an downtown), was a meeting place for the emperor and ministers in the Han Dynasty. The overall layout waw quadrate and bounding walls surround the Palace. The eastern and western walls measured 2,150 meters each, and northern and southern, 2,250 meters each. The whole Palace had an area of about 5 square kilometers, one seventh of the city's total area.


Historical documents record that the construction of the Weiyang Palace was organized by Han Emperor Gaozu and supervised by his minister Xiao He soon after the Changle Palace underwent renovation. After the Weiyang Palace was completed, emperors in the Han Dynasty all lived here, so it enjoyed more prominent fame than other palaces. Poets in later generations often used the Weiyang Palace as the synonym of Han palaces in their works. The whole Palace consisted of more than 40 halls. The Front Hall of Weiyang Palace was built besides the southern main gate and its huge structure base of rammed earth still lies there today.


Now the existing base of the Front Hall is about 150 meters from east to west and over 350 meters from north to south, and the highest point in the north reaches more than 10 meters. At the point about 200 meters north of the site of the Front Hall was the Jiaofang Hall discovered in 1987, where empresses of the Han Dynasty lived. On the north of the Weiyang Palace are the sites of the Tian Pavilion and the Shiqu Pavilion, which belonged to the Imperial Library of the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-8AD). Eave tiles with characters of "Chang Le Wei Yang" and "Chang Sheng Wu Ji", Han air bricks and aqueducts could be found from time to time.


Major architectures within the Palace include: the Front Hall, Xuanshi Hall, Wenshi Hall, Qingliang Hall, Qilig Hall, Jinhua Hall, Chengming Hall, Gaomen Hall, Baihu Hall, Yutang Hall, Xuande Hall, Jiaofang Hall, Shaoyang Hall, Bailiang Platform, Tianlu Pavilion and Shiju Pavilion, etc. Among them, the Front Hall is situated at the center of the whole Palace, with its base altar spanning about 350 meters from north to south, 200 meters from east to west and 15 meters high at the north tiptop. Historical records show that Weiyang Palace had a Sima Gate (gate for defense) at each of the four sides, a watchtower at each of the northern and eastern gates -- the East Watchtower was for seigneurs to meet the emperor, and the North Watchtower, for scholars and ordinary people to submit written statements.


The Han Dynasty palaces in Chang'an are the palaces that served for the longest time in Chinese history. Chang'an was not only the political center of the Western Han Dynasty, Wang Mang regime, Western Jin, Former Zhao, Former Qin, Later Qin, Western Wei and Northern Zhou dynasties, but also, many major historical events took place here, for instance, Zhang Qian, a diplomat of the Western Han Dynasty, set out here to inaugurate the Silk Road; Wang Zhaojun, one of the four beauties in ancient China, requested of her own accord in the Palace to marry the Khan of the Hun, and so on."


Edited by abcd - 26-Sep-2006 at 18:27
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  Quote Siege Tower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 18:21
thank you guys for all the exellent answers it really helped
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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 18:47
Preobrazhenskoe, great job, great info.!!!
 
By the way, do you know any structure that survived from Classical China period (500 BC ~100 AD)??
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  Quote Hrothgar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 21:21
Originally posted by Kids

"Therefore you prove his point, that in terms of architectural heritage Europe has no peer."

What kind of bias statement is that? The Maya used stones to build pyramid and does that mean it was more superior to ancient China in terms of technology?
in terms of architecture, the Maya were superior to the Chinese.
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  Quote Hrothgar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 21:23
Originally posted by Preobrazhenskoe

Originally posted by Kids

Secondly, Chinese buildings were made primarly from woods (prone to fire) and thus only few very old wood buildings have been preserved.
 
@Kids
 
I see the intention here, but you're not doing the Chinese much justice with this statement. Yes, there are many great Chinese feats of architecture lost to us because of fire (totally sucks, but at least we have ancient murals on Chinese tomb walls to depict what the earliest looked like), but there are still many impressive feats of Chinese architecture present before the Early Modern Age (late Ming and then Qing era). Take for instance, China's building of pagodas, multistory towers that were mostly dedicated to the ideology of Buddhism, but had a wide range of uses, like storing Buddhist texts, or acting as vantage points to scout enemy troops, or acting as light beacons at port for incoming ships. Although allempires members here will no doubt point to the grandeur of the Roman bathhouses and coliseums, as well as the Medieval cathedrals as the hallmark of Western architecture, let's not forget what the Chinese accomplished with constructing enormous regal palace complexes, walled, planned-and-gridded cities, and towering multistory pagodas.
 
Building tall architecture was nothing new to the Chinese when the idea of the pagoda spread, since the Chinese had built tall gate-houses, fortified city towers, and scout-towers before. The earliest Chinese pagodas evolved from the idea of the Indian stupa, which had a long tradition in India, and found its way into China during the Eastern Han Dynasty (23 - 220 AD). The earliest pagodas were almost entirely made of wood, and although they were able to stand some tremors and earthquakes, they weren't able to escape the destruction of fires as well as internal insect infestation and natural rot. The earliest wooden pagoda was apparently the White Horse Pagoda in Luoyang, built originally in 67 AD (although the original was destroyed and replaced later). It is recorded that Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty (reigned 581 - 604 AD) issued a decree that all new pagodas built in the empire should follow a central government standard, but unfortunately all the wooden ones are lost, and only the stone pagodas from the Sui era have survived. It is sad we no longer have the ancient wooden pagodas before and during the Tang Era (618 - 907 AD), and can only rely on the Tang-era poet known as Du Mu, who once wrote of the earlier Southern Dynasties period in the 5th and 6th centuries: 480 Buddhist temples of the Southern Dynasties, uncountable towers and pagodas stand in the misty rain. The oldest surviving wooden pagoda in China today is located in Shanxi Province, the 67-meter-tall (219.8 feet tall) Yingxian Pagoda, built in 1056 AD.
 
 
The Yingxian Pagoda (1056 AD)
 
However, long before the Yingxian Pagoda was ever built, the transition to other materials than wood had long before been implemented. The earliest pagoda to be built out of brick was the 40-meter-tall (131.2 feet-tall) Songyue Pagoda in modern-day Henan Province, built in 520 AD during the Northern Wei Dynasty, and has survived in almost mint condition for nearly 1500 years.
 
 
 
The Songyue Pagoda (520 AD)
 
The earliest large-scale stone pagoda is new than the earliest brick pagoda above, and is the four-door pagoda found at Licheng in Shandong Province, built in 611 AD during the Sui Dynasty. However, it is not as impressive in terms of height as the brick-constructed Songyue Pagoda.
 
 
Licheng Pagoda (611 AD)
 
Although the latter two are the earliest known examples of brick or stone pagodas, the earliest known example of brick and stone constructed pagodas was at Xianyang by Wang Jun, built during the first Jin Dynasty after the Three Kingdoms period (265-420 AD), but has since been destroyed. However, the the use of brick and stone was the norm and the most common form of constructing pagodas during the Tang, Song, Liao, and Jin dynasties, stretching from the 7th to the 13th centuries.
 
During the reign of Emperor Gaozong (649 - 683) of the Tang Dynasty, the 64.5 meters-tall (211.6 feet tall) Wild-Goose Pagoda was built, constructed out of brick, and located at modern day Xian (Chang'an) City. The temple and the pagoda itself were used to house Buddhist scriptures gathered from India, some 1,335 Buddhist documents of Sanskrit that were translated meticulously into Chinese script.
 
 
Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Construction date beginning in 652 AD)
 
The so-called "Iron" Pagoda of Kaifeng is actually made of red, brown, blue, and green glazed bricks, and its iron-coloring is a facade that is mistaken from afar, yet the name has stuck on through the centuries. The original was built in 1044 AD during the Northern Song Dynasty, but was struck by lightening and burnt down. Stubborn and reluctant to accept this, the Emperor Renzong ordered that another one be built at the same sight just five years later in 1049 AD, only this time built of fire-resistant glazed bricks, and at a height of 54.66 meters tall (179.28 feet tall). The unique construction uses bricks but follows a design of wooden pagodas. Apertures, tenons, gouges and slots on the bricks are assured different parts to be joined securely. Within the pagoda, there are brick-carvings of buddhas, lions, acrobatic figures, and others that attest to the high level of craftsmenship during the period (as if this hasn't been proved by works of art and sculptures of earlier periods). The brick-glazed pagoda has survived the ages, through torrential rains, fierce winds, earthquakes, and even a massive flooding of the Yellow River in 1841, where the entire city of Kaifeng was under water, the original temple surrounding the pagoda was decimated, yet the central pagoda stood firm, just as stubborn and reluctant as Emperor Renzong was, I suppose. Wink
 
 
The Iron Pagoda of Kaifeng, original wooden one in 1044 AD, this one in 1049 AD
 
The original Liu-he Pagoda (Six-Harmonies Pagoda in English) of Hangzhou was built in the year 970 AD, but was destroyed by conflict and battle. It was rebuilt in 1152 AD out of brick and wood, standing 13 stories tall at roughly 60 meters (196.5 feet). A bright lamp installed in the top allowed it to also serve as a lighthouse, but it was built in dedication of Buddhism, in reference to the six regulations of Buddhism, as well as the six Chinese directions (heaven, earth, north, south, east, and west).
 
 
Liu-he Pagoda (1152 AD)
 
Also, something interesting to note about Chinese architecture, a practice that was not seen in the West for centuries after the Chinese had innovated it, was the earliest segmental arch bridge in the world, the Anji Bridge, and ironically the oldest surviving stone bridge in China. Its construction began in 595 AD, and was completed ten years later in 605 AD. It is a single segmental stone arch, composed of 28 individual arches bonded transversely, 37.02m in span and rising 7.23m above the chord line. Narrower in the upper part and wider in the lower, the bridge averages 9m in width. The main arch ring is 1.03m thick with protective arch stones on it. Each of its spandrels is perforated by two small arches, 3.8m and 2.85m respectively in clear span, so that flood water can be drained and the bridge weight is lightened as well. This is to be set apart from the Roman bridges, which were semi-circle arch bridges. The oldest European segmental arch bridge is the Ponte Vecchio, Florence, from 1335 AD, and with a span of 30 m. Due to its historical value, it was the only bridge in Florence spared from destruction by the Nazis who were fleeing and retreating from the city. However, not to outdo the Romans, they were responsible for enormous, large-scale semi-circle bridges and aqueducts, like Trajan's enormous bridge over the Danube for example (which doesn't survive today, only the pillars of it underwater).
 
IPB Image
IPB Image
 
The Anji Bridge (595 - 605 AD)
 
Eric
those are interesting monuments no doubt, but my point still remains that you would see more than that, with greater diversity, in a single european city like Florence or Venice.
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  Quote Hrothgar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Sep-2006 at 21:24
Originally posted by Dream208

Originally posted by Chilbudios

Secondly, Chinese buildings were made primarly from woods
Therefore you prove his point, that in terms of architectural heritage Europe has no peer.
 
Why is stone building better than the wood building? artisitcally speaking?
Should you judge a building only by its age? Or should we look from a wider perspective?
 
Please help me here, why is it the fact that Chinese mainly wood as building material makes Chinese artithect inferior?



stone last longer and has more luster.


Edited by Hrothgar - 26-Sep-2006 at 21:50
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Sep-2006 at 01:20
In addition to the various ancient and medieval wooden, stone, and brick Chinese pagodas, as well as the world's first segmental arch bridge built by 605 AD, the Anji Bridge, I'd like to point out yet another example of great architectural feats by the Chinese. The tallest seated Buddha sculpture in the world, the Leshan Buddha, is carved out of the cliffside beneath the intersection of the Minjiang, Dadu, and Qingyi Rivers, near Leshan, Sichuan Province.
 
 
Here's the wikipedia.org info on the statue just as a quick reference:
 
Standing seventy-one meters tall (232.8 feet), the statue depicts a seated Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees. His shoulders are twenty-eight metres wide and his smallest toenail is large enough to easily accommodate a seated person. There is a local saying: "The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain". This is partially because the mountain range in which the Leshan Giant Buddha is located is thought to be shaped like a slumbering Buddha when seen from the river, with the Leshan Giant Buddha as its heart.
 
Construction was started in 713 AD, led by a Chinese monk named Haitong. He hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels travelling down the river. When funding for the project was threatened, he is said to have gouged out his own eyes to show his piety and sincerity. Construction was completed by his disciples ninety years later. Apparently the massive construction resulted in so much stone being removed from the cliff face and deposited into the river below that the currents were indeed altered by the statue, making the waters safe for passing ships.
 
 
Quite impressive indeed...
 
"stone last longer and has more luster." - Hrothgar
 
Good point, I agree Hrothgar, and the Chinese must have thought so too when they started converting many different architectural buildings and monuments to stone and brick instead of wood (which obviously burns easily, but withstands earthquakes rather well). However, I do not agree with you in an artistically speaking standpoint, which is what Dream 208 was getting at. When it came to Chinese latticework, detail on roof-shingles and beautifully-painted wooden-carved pillars in temples in palaces, wood has a lot more diversity than stone. However, this is not to say that there aren't impressive Chinese (or other) stone-engraved and stone-carved masterpieces.
 
 
Example of Chinese wooden latticework; example of Chinese wooden-pillar-carving-and-painting within the interior of Beijing's Temple of Heaven
 
And when you picked the examples of architecture found in Florence or Venice when comparing the Chinese pagodas and bridge images I posted, I presume this is a fair statment of one's opinion, and obviously has backing with Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore, or Venice's bell-tower of St Mark's Campanile. However, not every city in Europe during the Middle Ages or even the Renaissance was as brilliant and sophisticated in architectural triumphs as Florence and Venice were, and equally with the Chinese, some small Chinese towns boast maybe an impressive temple or two, but the larger, grander Chinese cities of old held tons of monuments to glorify the state and beautify the city-scape and natural surroundings outside.
 
Eric 


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 27-Sep-2006 at 01:34
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  Quote perikles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Sep-2006 at 03:20
    

this photos are only for greek civilization. If i find time i wiil upload photos of european civilization from France, UK, Spain and Russia.
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  Quote Vivek Sharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Sep-2006 at 03:30
Originally posted by Preobrazhenskoe

In addition to the various ancient and medieval wooden, stone, and brick Chinese pagodas, as well as the world's first segmental arch bridge built by 605 AD, the Anji Bridge, I'd like to point out yet another example of great architectural feats by the Chinese. The tallest seated Buddha sculpture in the world, the Leshan Buddha, is carved out of the cliffside beneath the intersection of the Minjiang, Dadu, and Qingyi Rivers, near Leshan, Sichuan Province.
 
 
Here's the wikipedia.org info on the statue just as a quick reference:
 
Standing seventy-one meters tall (232.8 feet), the statue depicts a seated Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees. His shoulders are twenty-eight metres wide and his smallest toenail is large enough to easily accommodate a seated person. There is a local saying: "The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain". This is partially because the mountain range in which the Leshan Giant Buddha is located is thought to be shaped like a slumbering Buddha when seen from the river, with the Leshan Giant Buddha as its heart.
 
Construction was started in 713 AD, led by a Chinese monk named Haitong. He hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels travelling down the river. When funding for the project was threatened, he is said to have gouged out his own eyes to show his piety and sincerity. Construction was completed by his disciples ninety years later. Apparently the massive construction resulted in so much stone being removed from the cliff face and deposited into the river below that the currents were indeed altered by the statue, making the waters safe for passing ships.
 
 
Quite impressive indeed...
 
"stone last longer and has more luster." - Hrothgar
 
Good point, I agree Hrothgar, and the Chinese must have thought so too when they started converting many different architectural buildings and monuments to stone and brick instead of wood (which obviously burns easily, but withstands earthquakes rather well). However, I do not agree with you in an artistically speaking standpoint, which is what Dream 208 was getting at. When it came to Chinese latticework, detail on roof-shingles and beautifully-painted wooden-carved pillars in temples in palaces, wood has a lot more diversity than stone. However, this is not to say that there aren't impressive Chinese (or other) stone-engraved and stone-carved masterpieces.
 
 
Example of Chinese wooden latticework; example of Chinese wooden-pillar-carving-and-painting within the interior of Beijing's Temple of Heaven
 
And when you picked the examples of architecture found in Florence or Venice when comparing the Chinese pagodas and bridge images I posted, I presume this is a fair statment of one's opinion, and obviously has backing with Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore, or Venice's bell-tower of St Mark's Campanile. However, not every city in Europe during the Middle Ages or even the Renaissance was as brilliant and sophisticated in architectural triumphs as Florence and Venice were, and equally with the Chinese, some small Chinese towns boast maybe an impressive temple or two, but the larger, grander Chinese cities of old held tons of monuments to glorify the state and beautify the city-scape and natural surroundings outside.
 
Eric 


The Bamiyan buddh statues in Afghanistan are also similiar to this great work. Both have no parallels in europe.
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  Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Sep-2006 at 06:56

You don't have to visit Florence or Venice. Many Italian houses in small villages (at least in Tuscany or Liguria, regions I've visited) have those fine specific architectural elements of the Mediteranean world, of Italy, of Western Christian culture.

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