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China Travel Guide

Chinese Architecture

Chinese Architecture Chinese architecture, together with Arabian architecture and European architecture, is a significant element of the system of world architecture, which has a unique ancient style of architecture that has taken shape in Asia for several centuries.

During its long progress, it gradually formed into a style which featured timberwork combining stone carving, rammed earth construction, bucket arch buildings and other techniques. Industrious Chinese laboring people created many architectural wonders including the Great Wall, Forbidden City and the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor.

The structural principles of Chinese architecture have remained basically unchanged, the main changes being only the decorative details. Since the Tang dynasty, Chinese architecture has had a great influence on the architectural styles of Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

However, during the last centuries Western-trained Chinese architects have attempted to combine traditional Chinese designs into modern (habitually government) buildings, with a partial success, especially in the larger cities. The traditional skills of Chinese architecture, such us major carpentry, minor carpentry, masonry, and stone masonry, are still used in the construction of rural architecture at the towns of China.

The most significant characteristic of ancient Chinese architecture is the use of timber framework. Paintings and carvings were added to the architectural work to make it more fine and attractive.

There were diverse styles of Ancient Chinese architecture, like Buddhist architecture, Islam mosques, Taoist architecture, Chinese temples, Imperial architecture, garden architecture and general architecture. Every one of them is unique and equally superb.

Architecture and culture are strongly linked to each other. Many architectural buildings enclose cultural connotations.

Read more about Architecture in China

Basic features
Every Chinese structure is based on the principle of balance and symmetry also known as feng shui (wind and water), a form of geomancy...

Monumental architecture
Monumental architecture is distinguished for repeating cosmological themes. Four millennia ago, cities were planned in a spiritually favorable rectangular design...

Religious architecture
Both Buddhist architecture and Taoist architecture have similar features. They generally face South and are bordered by walls like the rest of Chinese constructions...

Domestic architecture
Generally, domestic architecture follow the same guiding principles of temple and palace design with curved rooflines, walls around the buildings, mirrors (spirit walls)...

Modern architecture
Modern architecture reflects political and economic issues, rather than ethnic or climatic concerns. During the nineteenth century several treaty ports were established...


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