Early China: History, Legends, and Myths


B.I.B.

Captain
I love the wood building specially the Tang architecture But not much left in China these days. Hardly any Tang building left standing. I don't blame CR With constant war and upheaval over centuries it is too much to ask to see 7th century building. But replica will do

I like the Tang ceramic horses. Years ago I bought a Tang replica prancing horse and enjoyed the time looking at it until I accidentally broke it.

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Equation

Lieutenant General
I guess the point is that if we read, say, Roman history, you see all these Roman ruins all over Europe and can easily relate / appreciate all that. Europe has had more wars throughout the past 2000 years in general but the ruins managed to survive. China on the other hand managed to maintain loads of historical sites up until the Cultural Revolution, which I think we have to admit is a bit sad. Metaphorically like China was almost winning a 2,000-year race but chose to give up in the last 50 years. If you read the Three Kingdoms from cover to cover, one would marvel at how so many of the cities still retain their same names up to this date, but yet almost none of the actual buildings survived.

Anyway, this is off topic - let's get back to what this thread is about...

Architecture wise perhaps? But what about all those artifacts and burial grounds of those times? I'm sure they still exist.
 

duncanidaho

Junior Member
I guess the point is that if we read, say, Roman history, you see all these Roman ruins all over Europe and can easily relate / appreciate all that. Europe has had more wars throughout the past 2000 years in general but the ruins managed to survive. China on the other hand managed to maintain loads of historical sites up until the Cultural Revolution, which I think we have to admit is a bit sad. Metaphorically like China was almost winning a 2,000-year race but chose to give up in the last 50 years. If you read the Three Kingdoms from cover to cover, one would marvel at how so many of the cities still retain their same names up to this date, but yet almost none of the actual buildings survived.

Anyway, this is off topic - let's get back to what this thread is about...

The main construction material by the romans was stone.
The main construction material by the chinese till last century was wood.
 

Rachmaninov

Junior Member
Registered Member
Architecture wise perhaps? But what about all those artifacts and burial grounds of those times? I'm sure they still exist.

Yes, luckily many artefacts still survive but still architecture means a lot. It helps you reimagine the ancient way of life (say, in the cases of European villages like Toledo). A few bowls and vases don't easily help you with that.

The main construction material by the romans was stone.
The main construction material by the chinese till last century was wood.

This is true, but still, relatively speaking, there are very few city walls left.

Don't get me wrong I have absolutely no intention to bash China or something, just that we have to acknowledge certain shortcomings and learn from it...
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Yes, luckily many artefacts still survive but still architecture means a lot. It helps you reimagine the ancient way of life (say, in the cases of European villages like Toledo). A few bowls and vases don't easily help you with that.

This is true, but still, relatively speaking, there are very few city walls left.

Don't get me wrong I have absolutely no intention to bash China or something, just that we have to acknowledge certain shortcomings and learn from it...

AS Duncanidaho said most of the historical building prior to Ming and Qing are made from wood and with constant war and uprising it is unrealistic to expect that they will survive into modern time
Even the Japanese castle are not original they are rebuilt many times in century
There are only few original castle even in Japan

China is right now is busy trying to get rich But once it is done they will have time to reflect and take interest in their heritage I have no doubt about it
All those building can be recreated no problem

Even now with interest in travel and tourism many cities in China is sprucing up their historical building and in some cases recreated wall and castle like they did in Xian and Dandong, It is not authentic but who care

Daming Palace
Daming Palace National Heritage Park
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The reconstructed Danfeng Gate of the Daming Palace
Established 1 October 2010
Location
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,
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Type
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and
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Daming Palace
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大明宫
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大明宮
Literal meaning Palace of Great Brilliance
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[
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]Transcriptions
Daming Palace National Heritage Park
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大明宫国家遗址公园
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大明宮國家遺址公園
[
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]Transcriptions

The Daming Palace was the imperial palace complex of the
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, located in its capital
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.
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It served as the royal residence of the Tang emperors for more than 220 years.
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Today, it is designated as a
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of
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.
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The area is located northeast of present-day
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, Shaanxi Province.
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Rachmaninov

Junior Member
Registered Member
AS Duncanidaho said most of the historical building prior to Ming and Qing are made from wood and with constant war and uprising it is unrealistic to expect that they will survive into modern time
Even the Japanese castle are not original they are rebuilt many times in century
There are only few original castle even in Japan

China is right now is busy trying to get rich But once it is done they will have time to reflect and take interest in their heritage I have no doubt about it
All those building can be recreated no problem

Even now with interest in travel and tourism many cities in China is sprucing up their historical building and in some cases recreated wall and castle like they did in Xian and Dandong, It is not authentic but who care

Understood with great respect, hence I was citing city walls as examples not wooden structures, and I never cited Japan either. It is exactly this 'not authentic but who cares' mentality that bugs me a little, but anyway there's nothing we can do now that it's done.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
I know you never cite Japan but I just want you to know that many historical site is not original
China did recreated many historical structure on the same site as the original One famous one is Leifeng tower in Hang zhou

Leifeng Pagoda (
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: 雷峰塔;
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: Léifēng Tǎ) is a five-storey tower with eight sides, located on Sunset Hill south of the
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in
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, China. Originally constructed in the year AD 975, it collapsed in 1924 but was rebuilt in 2002. Since then it has been a popular tourist attraction.
upload_2017-12-2_22-1-46.jpegupload_2017-12-2_22-2-19.jpeg

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Original pagoda in 1910 before the collapse in 1924

The original
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was built in 975 AD, during
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period, at the order of King
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(born Qian Hongchu) of
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. It was built to celebrate the birth of
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's son, born to
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. The Leifeng Pagoda was an octagonal, five-story structure built of brick and wood and with a base built out of bricks.

During the
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,
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attacked Hangzhou. Suspecting the pagoda contained weapons, they burned its wooden elements, leaving only the brick skeleton, as can be seen from Ming paintings of the West Lake.

Leifeng Pagoda was one of the ten sights of the West Lake because of the
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.

Later, due to a superstition that the bricks from the tower could repel illness or prevent miscarriage, many people stole bricks from the tower to grind into powder. On the afternoon of September 25, 1924, the pagoda finally collapsed due to disrepair.

As for whether there was a
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below, this was debated for years until finally radar was used to investigate. On March 11, 2001 the mausoleum was excavated and many artifacts were found, most notably a gold and silver coated hair of the Buddha.

Reconstruction[
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]

In October 1999, the provincial and municipal governments decided to rebuild Leifeng Pagoda on top of the ruins of the old one. The new pagoda opened on 25 October 2002. It is composed of a 1400 tonne steel structure with 200 tonnes of copper parts. It contains four sightseeing elevators, and modern amenities such as air conditioners, televisions and speakers. At the entrance of the pagoda there are two autonomous escalators to carry visitors to the base of the pagoda.

The original base of the pagoda is kept in good condition as well as the artifacts discovered in an underground chamber.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
There are still original wall city in China the famous one is Pingyao here it is
Mostly from Ming and Qing era not as gracious and elegant as from the Tang era
 
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solarz

Brigadier
I guess the point is that if we read, say, Roman history, you see all these Roman ruins all over Europe and can easily relate / appreciate all that. Europe has had more wars throughout the past 2000 years in general but the ruins managed to survive. China on the other hand managed to maintain loads of historical sites up until the Cultural Revolution, which I think we have to admit is a bit sad. Metaphorically like China was almost winning a 2,000-year race but chose to give up in the last 50 years. If you read the Three Kingdoms from cover to cover, one would marvel at how so many of the cities still retain their same names up to this date, but yet almost none of the actual buildings survived.

Anyway, this is off topic - let's get back to what this thread is about...

The main reason China does not maintain much, proportionally speaking, of its historical buildings in its ancient cities is simply because people still live in those cities.

It's not the Cultural Revolution that wiped out those historical buildings, it's the economic miracle of the 90's.

For example, my grandmother used to live in a 100-year-old house located right beside an 800-year-old stone bridge. I vividly remember playing on that bridge with my dad. This was in the 80's, before I came to Canada.

When I returned to visit in 92, the bridge had been torn down, and the canal it spanned was filled. I don't remember the reason, but I remember there were a lot of construction going on.

My grandmother continued to live in that old house until one day, a ceiling beam broke and fell on her. Luckily, she only had superficial injuries. After that incident, my dad and my uncles helped my grandmother move to an apartment. The old house was torn down shortly after. These days, I think not even my dad can tell where the old house used to be, so much as changed.
 

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