Religious architecture of china

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REligious architecture of china - Temple of Heaven, PAgoda of Fogong

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Religious architecture of china

  1. 1. CULTURE & ARCHITECTURE 1
  2. 2. • Chinese religious architecture • Buddhist architecture in much of China follows consist mainly of temples of the imperial style, but with green roof tiles. A Buddhism, Lamaism, Islamism, and Buddhist temple normally has a front hall that Taoism. houses a statue of a Bodhisattva, followed by• They differ according to the different a great hall that houses statues of the religious doctrines and Buddha, with accommodation for the monks requirements of usages. and nuns at either side.• Portraits of Buddha, murals, • Taoist architecture is a little less grand. The engraved tablets, calligraphy, main deity is usually represented in the main Buddhist utensils, furnishings, and hall which is at the front, in contrast to Buddhist scriptures are displayed in Buddhist layout where the main hall will be to these buildings. the rear. Also, the entrance is usually at or to the side which is believed to confuse entry by demons (a Feng Shui guideline). Taoist roofs are generally blue. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 2
  3. 3. • The Buddhists have the pagoda and the stupa; stele as tombs and sites for inscriptions are common in all traditions; the ‘spirit ways’ of Royal tombs and the pailou gates erected by officials in city streets are all to one extent or another kinds of religious architecture.• Pagodas in particular are the one tradition in which buildings of wood crossed over into a monumental stone architecture of uniquely religious form— minarets, spires, Hindu shikara, domes, pyramids — that have often been the most extraordinary achievement of the Indo-European architectures.• The formally unique and distinctively religious, and the imperial sacrificial venue is best exemplified by Beijing’s Tiantan/Temple of Heaven. With its intensely symbolic geometric layout – squares and circles are everywhere — its remarkable marble platforms and walkways, designed for a very specific and significant series of rituals, and its beautiful — arguably the most beautiful in China – circular Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, this is of all things a a structure that exemplifies the principles outlined above but also translates them into a building form that could have no other function than a religious/ritual one. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 3
  4. 4. • Temples in China are invariably located in the most beneficient spot in the landscape: often facing south, with a hill behind them and a wide valley, ideally containing water, ahead.• The landscape can be heavily reworked to make this possible: the upper hall of the Foguang Si in Shanxi is quarried into the hillside; behind the ‘little Potala’ at Chengde is a hill; Or they are associated with specific spots — rocks or springs or other points deemed to be of significance — regardless of association with a settlement.• Chinese architecture, then, is to an extraordinary degree about place, and to understand it one has to engage with the rules of feng shui as they apply to a specific building and its sie and function (whether it be an imperial temple or a peasant’s house-god altar).• The buildings themselves, then, are also arranged, and rather like landscapes, in that their arrangement is as much about spaces enclosed as about the structures themselves. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 4
  5. 5. • Halls running along the main axis, arranged hierarchically; less important functions are positioned to the sides; the sequence of courtyards that result, and the routes that interconnect them, is the primary experience of these places.• The complex interiors and inventive spatial effects of the Western tradition are thus completely unknown: one encounters rectangular spaces of varying size, containing impressive, cool halls that can be left undivided as a setting for sculpture or fittings or partitioned to make rooms.• Entrances, openings and enclosures are absolutely fundamental; these are often the focus of decoration, display, and on occasion inventiveness. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 5
  6. 6. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 6
  7. 7. • The Temple of Heaven, literally the • The Temple grounds cover 2.73 km² of Altar of Heaven (TIAN - TAN) is a parkland and comprises three main groups complex of Taoist buildings situated in of constructions, all built according to strict the southeastern part of central Beijing. philosophical requirements:• One of the largest temple complexes in • THE HALL OF PRAYER FOR GOOD china & a paradigm of architectural HARVESTS balance & symbolism. • THE IMPERIAL VAULT OF• The complex was visited by the HEAVEN Emperors of the Ming and Qing • THE CIRCULAR MOUND ALTAR dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.• It is regarded as a Taoist temple, although Chinese Heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, pre-dates Taoism Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 7
  8. 8. Qinian Dian-Hall of Prayer for good Harvests Echo Wall Altar to HeavenCh in ese Religio us Arch itecture 8
  9. 9. Qinian Dian-Hall of Prayer for good Harvests Altar to HeavenCh in ese Religio us Arch itecture 9
  10. 10. Golden Finial Caisson ceilingName Plaques-written in thecalligraphy ofan EmperorThe Circular Blue represents theroof symbolizes color of Heaventhe SKY Dragon Well PillarsRed is anImperial color Tablets – in memory ofDragon & ancestorsPhoenix motifs Symbolic offerings Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 10
  11. 11. HALL OF PRAYER FOR GOOD HARVESTS • The HALL OF PRAYER FOR GOOD HARVESTS is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, 36 meters in diameter and 38 meters tall, built on three levels of marble stone base, where the Emperor prayed for good harvests. • The building is completely wooden, with Circular no nails. mounds • The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests has four inner, twelve middle and twelve outer pillars, representing the four seasons, twelve months and twelve traditional Chinese hours respectively. • Combined together, the twelve middle and twelve outer pillars represent the traditional solar term. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 11
  12. 12. • Initially constructed in 1420 in a square design, it was reconstructed in 1545 during Emperor JiaJings reign as a round building with a three- tier roof.• At that time the roof was constructed with blue, yellow and green glazed tiles symbolising Heaven, Earth and the mortal world.• During Qing Emperor QianLongs reign it was reconstructed again in 1751. This time the roof was tiled only in azure colored tiles. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 12
  13. 13. • Inside the Hall are 28 tall pillars, each made from a single tree trunk. The four posts around the inner circle represent the four seasons.• The 12 posts around the middle circle represent the 12 months.• The 12 posts of the outer circle represent 12 ShiChen. In ancient China, one ShiChen equalled two hours so that a complete day was divided into 12 ShiChens.• The12 gilded pillars and the 12 outer eave pillars together represent the 24 solar terms of the year.• The designer used the numbers of the pillars to represent the time division of the Chinese calendar about hour, day, month and season, and used the round shape of the structure to represent the endless time and its repetition in endless circles. It is indeed a building of time. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 13
  14. 14. • This design was commissioned by Qing dynasty emperor QianLong (reign: 1736-1795) in 1751.• All the buildings within the Temple have dark blue roof tiles, representing the Heaven.• The cleverly constructed building relies only on carpentry, with no nails employed. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 14
  15. 15. Caisson ceilingCh in ese Religio us Arch itecture 15
  16. 16. The interior of the hall is magnificently decorated and contains a large south facing ceremonial throne. Wooden supportsCh in ese Religio us Arch itecture 16
  17. 17. Duo-gong-wooden brackets Detail from the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests – the imperial colors blue, red and yellow were used in every detail.Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 17
  18. 18. Huge dragon depicting carved stones along the central stairway up tothe hall. The emperor would be carried in a sedan over these carvings. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 18
  19. 19. Panorama of the three main hallsPanorama from the opposite view of the Imperial Vault of Heaven Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 19
  20. 20. IMPERIAL VAULT OF HEAVEN• The Imperial Vault of Heaven is a single-gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base.• The Imperial Vault of Heaven sits in the center. It is a round building with a roof that resembles the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, though smaller and with only one gable of eaves and a single tier marble base.• The hall is 19.2 meters high and with a diameter of 15.6 meters.• The east and west annexes were used to hold divine tablets of various gods worshipped at the Altar to Heaven.• It is located south of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and resembles it, but is smaller.• It is surrounded by a smooth circular wall, the Echo Wall, that can transmit sounds over large distances.• The Imperial Vault is connected to the Hall of Prayer by the Vermilion Steps Bridge, a 360 meter long raised walkway that slowly ascends from the Vault to the Hall of Prayer. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 20
  21. 21. The entrance to the Imperial Vault of Heaven as seen from inside Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 21
  22. 22. Blue tiled Gable roof Marble base-single tier The Imperial Vault of HeavenCh in ese Religio us Arch itecture 22
  23. 23. ALTAR TO HEAVEN• At the southern end is the Altar to Heaven (also known as the Circular Mound), an empty three-tiered plinth that rises 5 meters from a square yard.• The Circular Mound Altar is the altar proper, located south of the Imperial Vault of Heaven - it is made of white marble.• The altar was used to worship heaven at the winter solstice.• It is an empty circular platform on three levels of marble stones, each decorated by lavishly carved dragons.• The numbers of various elements of the Altar, including its balusters and steps, are either the sacred number nine or its nodules.• The center of the altar is a round slate called the Heart of Heaven or the Supreme Yang, where the Emperor prayed for favorable weather.• The sound of the prayer will be reflected by the guardrail, creating significant resonance, which was supposed to help the prayer communicate with the Heaven.• The Altar was built in 1530 by the Jiajing Emperor and rebuilt in 1740. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 23
  24. 24. Aerial view of th.e circular moundCh in ese Religio us Arch itecture 24
  25. 25. SYMBOLISM• Earth was represented by a square • The number NINE represents the Emperor and and Heaven by a circle; several is evident in the design of the Circular Mound features of the temple complex Altar: a single round marmor plate is symbolize the connection of Heaven surrounded by a ring of nine plates, then a and Earth, of circle and square. ring of 18 plates, and so on for a total of nine• The whole temple complex is surrounding rings, the outermost having 9×9 surrounded by two cordon of walls; plates. the outer wall has a taller, semi- • Mathematics and seasonal or celestial circular northern end, representing calculations play a major role in the design of Heaven, and a shorter, rectangular the Qiniandian, with its roof of three southern end, representing the Earth. concentric circles being supported by four• Both the Hall of Prayer for Good massive wood columns that symbolize the four Harvests and the Circular Mound Altar seasons. are round, each standing on a square • Other aspects of the buildings design equate yard, again representing Heaven and to the twelve months of the year and twelve Earth. hours in a day. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 25
  26. 26. The Altar to HeavenCh in ese Religio us Arch itecture 26
  27. 27. A triple set of Ling-Xing Gates’Within the walled square yard is a circular wall. Both inner and outerwalls contain four sets of three gates that resemble monumental archways.These are known as the Ling-Xing Gates and are made of white marble. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 27
  28. 28. the inner circular wall inside the square outer wall. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 28
  29. 29. The Heavenly Center Stone on top of the Altar to Heaven.Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 29
  30. 30. • The first ring of consists of 9 stones, the magical highest value digit. Then 18, 27 etc.• The number of stones in the various concentric tiers are all multiples of nine - a prevailing numerological theme at the Temple of Heaven.• The number nine, being the highest value digit, symbolically represented the EMPEROR.• Around the center stone is a ring of nine stones slabs. The next ring has 18 slabs; the next 27.• There are nine rings in all, with 9 x 9 =81 slabs in the outermost ring. The numbers of the railing boards and balustrades are also the multiple of nine, all symbolic figures of the astronomical phenomena.• The central stone is called the Heavenly Center Stone. It is said that the voice of a person standing there sounds especially resonant and sonorous. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 30
  31. 31. • The Echo Wall encloses the Imperial • The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is Vault. It has a height of 3.7 meters approached along a 360 meter raised and a circumference of 193 meters. walkway : Vermillion Steps Bridge• It is named for its acoustical (DanBiQiao). properties - a whisper spoken at one • In doing so, one ascends almost end can be heard clearly from the imperceptibly, denoting progression from other. Earth to Heaven.• Further, the Triple Echo Stones in the • The path is 1 meter high at the start and 4 courtyard return various numbers of meters high at the end. At one point there in echos depending on which stone one a tunnel under it. stands on while facing the Imperial • The walkway is almost 30 meters wide and Vault. has three distinct paths marked out. The• They are good demonstrations of the central path was reserved for the gods. excellent skills of ancient architects • The path on the east was reserved for the in embroidering acoustics emperor while the path on the west was phenomena into their designing. used by the empress and court officials. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 31
  32. 32. Vermillion Steps Bridge (DanBiQiao).Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 32
  33. 33. Dragon Carving on the steps leading up to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests Dragon Carving on the roof tiles and ridges of roofsCh in ese Religio us Arch itecture 33
  34. 34. The Seven-Star Stone Group, east of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, represents the seven peaks of Taishan Mountain. Marble gargoyles surrounding the Imperial Vault of HeavenCh in ese Religio us Arch itecture 34
  35. 35. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 35
  36. 36. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 36
  37. 37. • This nine-story octagonal structure was constructed without the use of nails and falls under the Indian-influenced stupa classification of pagoda.• The stupa that is the crown of the pagoda had two rows of brick lotus petals and one of iron petals support various Buddhist characteristics - an alms bowl, a prayer wheel, and so forth.• Chains formerly hung from the tips with small bells hanging from each corner of the roof .• The Muta stands out within the context of Liao wooden building.• When the Buddha Shakyamuni died, a stupa was placed over his remains.• The function of the stupa in its East Asian form likens the pagoda to a relic mound.• A devout Buddhist ruler of the Liao continued in the stupa tradition, creating the pagoda as an architectural homage to the death of the Buddha while simultaneously erecting a shrine to the Liao rulers father.• The images within the pagoda are even considered to be funerary in nature.• Early pagodas under Liao patronage such as Foguang Si would contain relics inside and provided a focus of devotion to the Buddha and others transmitting faith. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 37
  38. 38. • The (Yingxian wooden pagoda) Sakyamuni Pagoda of Fogong Temple of Ying County, Shanxi province, China, is a wooden Chinese pagoda built in 1056, during the Liao Dynasty.• The pagoda was built by Emperor Daozong of Liao (Hongji).• The pagoda, has survived several large earthquakes throughout the centuries; it was given the generic nickname of the "Muta" (literally "Timber Pagoda").• It is the oldest existent fully wooden pagoda still standing in China.• The pagoda stands on a 4 M (13 FT) tall stone platform, has a 10 M (33 FT) tall steeple, and reaches a total height of 67.31 M (220.83 FT) . Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 38
  39. 39. • The structure stands 67.31 meters tall with an inner shaft made entirely of wood that rises 51.35 meters.• The structure employs the use of wood and brick ; the base is brick whereas the stories are made of wood.• The layout of the pagoda has an octagonal plan• The pagoda was built on the 4M high and two-layer stone platform base.• The first layer has double eaves and is surrounded with a cloister.• The part before the second layer is all installed with enclosures and has a dozen kinds of corbel brackets under each eave looking like clouds gathering together. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 39
  40. 40. • The structure of the Wooden Pagoda is very ingenious with two slots of columns inside and outside.• On the first storey of the pagoda stands a statue of Sakaymuni Buddha of 11 meters high, solemn and respectful, and 6 walls of the storey are painted with six portraits of Buddhas and 12 flying Apsarases in vivid and elegant posture.• There is a quadrangular Buddha on the third storey and the Buddha faces 11m hig four directions. sakayamuni• A sitting statue of Sakayamuni Buddha Buddha is located in the center of the fifth storey with 8 giant Bodhisattvas sitting in eight directions. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 40
  41. 41. Remarkably, this completely wooden structure has remained intact for almost 1000 years, weathering environmental disasters as well as social upheavals.Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 41
  42. 42. Buddhist statues found within the pagoda, with the Sakyamuni Buddha atthe center Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 42
  43. 43. • Similar to earlier built Indian stupas, the Yingxian Pagoda is located in the centre of a religious complex and is composed of three main parts, a raised base, a central body composed of an odd number of levels and on the top, a pinnacle or steeple.• Unlike other ancient pagodas that were built with brick or stone reinforcement, this Pagoda was constructed entirely out of wood and without the use of any nails.• The strength and resilience of the structure is attributed to the type of wood used, the rare Xing’an larch from Northern China.• Also notable is the fact that construction followed the Yingzao Fashi official code of building that was principled by Li Jie in 1103 A.D. which outlines the strict construction methods enforced at the time. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 43
  44. 44. • When the wooden pagoda was under • The pagoda sits on a large octagonal stone repair in 1974, many carved Sutra, platform and from its exterior, the structure written Sutra and color silk pictures appears to be divided into five levels with and other precious antiques were encircling balconies and an extended found in abdomens of the broken steeple reaching from the top. statues. • However on the inside, there are a total of• A number of cultural relics were nine floors to the structure. found in the pagoda, including • At the main entrance of the pagoda there is paintings depicting Chinese a tall statue of Sakyamuni Buddha and on medicinal herbs, Buddhist scriptures the walls are murals of warrior deities, and carvings. various heavenly kings, and Buddhist• These relics are all believed to disciples. belong to the Liao Dynasty and are • An enormous wooden staircase leads up to regarded as significant discoveries the second storey of the pagoda where a for furthering knowledge and study balcony extends around the entire structure on religion and culture of this period offering a panoramic view of the growing of history. city of Shanxi. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 44
  45. 45. The tower adopts the structure of secluded chambers in design, presenting a distinctive national characteristic inherited from the Han and Tang Dynasties while leveraging the traditional architectural techniques to the fullest extent. Its scientific and precise design and consummate in structure, reached the highest level of the architecture in ancient China.Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 45
  46. 46. • Each story of the Muta is an independent, self-contained structure so that each story is its own 3D Buddhist mandala including sculpture and wall paintings. Wooden Brackets • The four middle floors have a balcony and a lean-to roof. • The top level has a very elaborate system of bracketing. • There are fifty-four different bracket- types used within the pagoda. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 46
  47. 47. Ch in ese Religio us Arch itecture 47

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