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Traditional Chinese architecture

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shellyuan View Drop Down
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Immortal Guard

Joined: 02-Oct-2008
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  Quote shellyuan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Traditional Chinese architecture
    Posted: 03-Oct-2008 at 09:52

What’s the most attractive thing in Beijing? Do you want to see special traditional Chinese architecture? Here is a guide I found in


Traditional architecture in Beijing is introverted in style, with emphasis on the enclosing walls. Enclosing walls have two main functions: one is to protect the buildings inside, the other is to indicate that the buildings inside are very important and treasured. The ancient buildings in Beijing that have survived to this day fall roughly into three categories: palaces, temples and private houses. The Forbidden City is the largest and best preserved ancient palace complex now extant in China. Twenty-four emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties lived there. It is the most representative ancient palace in China. On each of its four sides are high walls which protect the buildings inside. The Yonghe Palace Lamasery, popularly known as the “Lama Temple”, is one of the most famous temples in Beijing. All the buildings in the temple are surrounded by a high wall. There are many courtyards inside. The entrances to all the courtyards are in the south whereas the most important buildings are all in the north. The buildings in the lamasery form many layers. Only by going through layer after layer of courtyards can the tourists see the centre of the Lamasery—the Sacred Hall of the Wheel of the Law. In the old alleys known as hutong we can also see the characteristic traditional Chinese architecture. The walls on both sides of the alley are very high and they serve both to protect the private houses behind and highlight their importance. The private houses are mostly courtyard houses, with the most important room situated in the north of the courtyard. The center of a private house is protected by lower inner walls and other buildings as well as by the outer walls. From the style of the traditional architecture of Beijing we can see the relationship between the family and the government as perceived by the ancient Chinese. The family is the basis of society, and the government developed from the structure of the family. They differ only in size/magnitude. The traditional buildings in Beijing embody and mirror the family as the centre of traditional Chinese culture. The simple courtyard house is the basis of the grand and magnificent palaces and temples.

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