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Chinese Architecture. This Essay shortly describes the ancient Chinese architecture with the main point on the Hall of Supreme Harmony.

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Essay Chinese Architecture This Essay shortly describes the ancient Chinese architecture with the main point on the Hall of Supreme Harmony. INTRODUCTION The Chinese architecture is less studied than the architecture of almost any other great civilization on the world. Also in the Western countries a common comment about the Chinese architecture is that it looks all the same, with the standard picture of the Forbidden City on mind. This Essay will be about some points of the ancient Chinese architecture, which here can't be described in every detail, because the classical Chinese architecture has a long and creative history. Different types of architecture will be described shortly and the main point lies on the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City in Beijing and some of its architectural features. MAINPART General The earliest buildings in China are dated 7000 years and since then the architecture went through some developments. The architecture was shaped by different factors. Of the 56 ethnic groups which exist in China, the Han are the most numerous. 94% of the people in China are considered as Han Chinese. All these groups live in different areas in this huge land and therefore they have different local building materials. Also the religions, like Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, had an influence on the temple and altar architecture. ...read more.


It can be divided into two parts: the southern part is the "Outer Court" and consists of five halls (one of them is the Hall Of Supreme Harmony) for ceremonial purposes and other official business. The northern part, the "Inner Court", was where the emperor worked and lived with his family, eunuchs and maid-servants. Golden yellow has been an imperial colour for a long time and it is a dominant colour in the Forbidden City. Roofs have yellow glazed tiles and many decorations are painted yellow. This colour presents, in the ancient theory of the Five Elements, the earth, which was considered the centre of the universe. The Forbidden City nowadays is the world's biggest palace complex. The Hall of Supreme Harmony The Hall of Supreme Harmony was the most important building in the Forbidden City. The dimension, form, D�cor and furnishing of this hall are of highest standard. This hall was the symbol of the imperial power and it was the highest structure during the Ming and Qing dynasty. No other building was permitted to be higher. Until today it is the largest structure and the heart of the Forbidden City. The hall itself is 26.92 m high, 11 bays wide and five bays deep - a bay is the roof span between two supporting pillars -, occupying a floor area of 2,377 square metres. ...read more.


The first one is a man riding a chicken. He is followed by nine mythical figures and an additional one, which are in following order: Dragon (to protect against fire), Phoenix (controls the wind), Lion (protects the country and the imperial rule), Heavenly Horse (can run like the wind and travel thousands of miles a day), Seahorse (protect building from fire), Suan Ni (mythical beast, combination of lion, wild beat and wild horse), Guardian Fish (wind- and storm summoning fish), Xiezhi (can tell right from wrong) and Bull (dispels evil). The figure behind those mythical ones is an immortal carrying a sword. He symbolizes peace and harmony.3 The very last figure in this row is a dragon, larger than the other figures, representing the state. Nowadays the Hall is stripped off all the furniture, apart from the throne and it appears as a large empty hall. Conclusion The ancient Chinese architecture has lots of features, which had or still have different meanings in the life of the Chinese people. With a limited number of words it is not possible to give a full description of the architecture of the Forbidden City and the Hall of Supreme Harmony, not to mention all the ancient Chinese architecture. In comparison to sources about the architecture in other countries, the ones about the Chinese are numerous much less, but there will be people writing about these beautiful and interesting architectural features. ...read more.

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