Chinese architecture

Masterpieces of Chinese architecture - historical significance and uniqueness

Ancient Chinese ArchitectureTraditional architecture holds a special place in Chinese culture. Masterpieces of Chinese architecture, such as the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Temple of Heaven, the Mogao Caves are just a small part of China's cultural heritage, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites not only due to its historical significance, but also to its unique architecture.

Chinese architecture has a number of unique features: the elegance of all constructions and at the same time, their monumentality, the combination of different materials and colors, brightness and sophistication of internal and external decoration.

Temple of Heaven Ground, Beijing Ancient roofs of Taoist temples Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai

Almost all the buildings in the ancient and medieval China were built of wood. Palaces, temples, pagodas, mausoleums or ordinary dwellings were built on the basis of a wooden structure. In many cases wooden poles, attached by beams were put on a clay foundation. It was crowned with a roof, which was subsequently covered with glazed tiles of traditional Chinese yellow color. In its turn, the walls of the buildings were built of brick (palaces, plaisances, pagodas and temples) or clay and reeds (mainly houses for the poor).

Pavilion of Absolute Perfection Longhua Pagoda, Shanghai Chinese gondola in the garden

Chinese architects did not just construct a building following a particular drawing, they precisely estimated to detail the size of each part, thus speeding up the process of construction by several times. In addition, the building methods in ancient and medieval China were one of the safest ones, since the buildings on wooden structures are more resistant to earthquakes, and in operation for many centuries and even millennia.

Teahouse in Shanghai The figure of a dragon on the roof of a Chinese temple title= Blossoming trees near the traditional pavilions, Shanghai

One of the main features of Chinese-styled buildings is a concave roof. No matter wherever you are, seeing a concave roof of a building, you immediately realize that it was built in Chinese style.

The interior design of the building also has its own distinctive features. Instead of the walls there are wooden pillars, decorated with tiles in the form of animals and plants. Lacquered screens were often used to separate one room from another. Architectural decoration strikes with the brightness of its colors. A traditional building in black and white or grisaille can be rarely met in China.
Chinese architecture is one of the main elements of Chinese cult