A NINE STOREY PAGODA IN A DAOIST TEMPLE

Shibaozhi Pagoda (石宝寨塔), the centrepiece architecture in Daoist Temple Precious Stone Fortress (石宝寨) built against a 200m high rocky hill facing the Yangtze River in Chongqing, is one of the largest wooden pagodas in China. Legend has it that the rocky hill was a stone among those collected by Goddess Nuva to repair the sky damaged by rebell Gonggong. After […]

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A 400-YEAR-OLD BORDERTOWN IN DESERT

In a remote desert region in China’s west in today’s Yongtai County, Gansu Province, there is a 400-year old Yongtai City. The city was structured to function as military fortress against the Mongols and Tartars who constantly crossed the border to loot the scattered Chinese settlements. The city walls, 12 metres high and 1.7 kilometres in total length, were made of compact yellow […]

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A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO CHINESE BUDDHIST TEMPLES

A classic Chinese Buddhist temple is typically a building complex consisted of several courtyards as shown in the illustration below. Entrance The first is the entrance building, known as Mountain Gate (山门), with a square in front and three gates that represent the doors to freedom from three constraints. The three constraints are generated by our obsessions with a temporary […]

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Traditional Chinese Roofs

Traditional Chinese architecture is not only as old as Chinese civilization with 5,000 years of history but unique in the world, particularly when the roof system is concerned, both in terms of its multi-layered dougong structure – a set of interlocking wooden brackets that supports the massive roofs – and its visual style in shape, size and colour. Below is a brief introduction […]

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Chinese Garden Pavilions

Traditional Chinese pavilion is normally a covered small structure with little or no wall. These open structures were initially erected at roadside in the Warring States era more than 2,200 years ago as shelters for soldiers. After China was reunited under the Qin, a unified postal system was established, and roadside pavilions were used for the government postmen on horseback to […]

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