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Beijing's Hutong(2)

Chinese Stone Lions
Lion is a special animal to Chinese people. A pair of stone lions, a male and a female, can often be seen in front of the gates of traditional buildings. The male lion is on the left with his right paw resting on a ball, and the female on the right with her left paw fondling a cub.

Confucian Temple, a Sacred Hall of Art in Guizhou
The Confucian Temple is the place where Chinese officials in ancient times offered sacrifices to Confucius, the great ideologue, politician and educator. There are numerous Confucian Temples of various sizes all over the county. They also served as school of higher education in ancient times. All these temples were exquisitely constructed as a sign of local respect to the Sage.

Cave Dwellers In Shaanxi Province
On a freezing winter's day warmed by the sun we arrived at the peasant house of six stone caves which was our goal in Northern Shaanxi Province on the vast loess plateau. In the courtyard stood several leafless jujubetrees hung with bright yellow corn ears. On one side of the arched door were strings of red chilis-on the other, jade white gourds. The clucking of the hens as they pecked grain from the ground added life to this quiet country house.

Tiananmen Square
The Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing, is said to be the biggest square in the world. It is 880 meters from north to south, and 500 meters from east to west, with total area of 440,000 square meters and can hold one million people.

Beijing's New Attraction: Hutongs
new pastime -- roaming through Beijing's old, narrow streets, hutongs, by old-fashioned pedicab to visit siheyuan, the old quadrangles, and learn about the daily life of ordinary Beijing citizens-- has attracted more and more overseas visitors.

Beijing's Hutong(1)
A hutong is an ancient city alley or lane typical in Beijing, where hutongs run into the several thousand. Surrounding the Forbidden City, many were built during the Yuan (1206-1341), Ming(1368-1628) and Qing(1644-1908) dynasties. In the prime of these dynasties the emperors, in order to establish supreme power for themselves, planned the city and arranged the residential areas according to the etiquette systems of the Zhou Dynasty. The center of the city of Beijing was the royal palace -- the Forbidden City.

Screen Wall
Foreign visitors may have noticed the isolated wall either outside or just inside the gate of a traditional Chinese house to shield the rooms from outsiders' view. Known as a "screen wall" in English, it is called yingbi or zhaobi in Chinese. It can be made of any material-brick, wood, stone or glazed tile.

Liao Dynasty Street
Yingxian Wooden Pagoda is a world-famous Buddhist pagoda in Yingxia County under the jurisdiction of Shouzhou City, Shanxi Province. Now a new Liao Dynasty Street has been built to the south of the noted pagoda. Running from north to south, the street together with the wooden pagoda constitutes in the county.
The street was constructed in line with the architectural style and characteristics of the Liao Dynasty (916-1125). Its completion symbolizes the prosperity of the Liao Dynasty when the construction of the Yingxian Wooden Pagoda began.

The Architectural Style of Old House in Wuxi
The Old houses that still remain in the ancient city of Wuxi represent the history of the development of the city. The walls, windows, small lanes, and houses built along the ancient canal reflect Chinese culture.

Anecdotes about Huabiao
Huabiao, as something typical Chinese, is actually an ornamental or symbolic column erected in front of palaces, bridges, city gates, tombs or other places. They used to be made of wood, hence their other name--Huabiaomu. They were difficult to preserve, however, and the Haubiao we see today are mostly made of marble.

Siheyuan, The Chinese Quadrangle
Traditionally most urban Chinese used to live in quadrangles called siheyuan or "four-side enclosed courtyards." These courts, as the name implies, are formed by inward-facing houses on four sides, closed in by enclosure walls.

The Number "Nine" and Imperial Buildings
It may not be common knowledge among Western visitors that the number "nine" carried a special significance in old China. Ancient Chinese regarded odd numbers as being masculine and even numbers as being feminine. "Nine", which is the largest single digit number was taken to mean the "ultimate masculine" and was, therefore, symbolic of the supreme sovereignty of the emperor.

Pavilions (Ting)
A common sight in the country, the Chinese pavilion (ting, which means also a kiosk) is built normally either of wood or stone or bamboo and may be in any of several plan figures-- square, triangle, hexagon, octagon, a five-petal flower, a fan and what not. But all pavilions described as ting have this in common: they have columns to support the roof, but no walls. In parks or at scenic spots, pavilions are built on slopes to command the panorama or on lakeside to create intriguing images in the water. They are not only part of the landscape but also belvederes from which to enjoy it.

Zoomorphic Ornaments
Chinese palaces, temples and mansions have on their roofs a special kind of ornaments called wenshou or zoomorphic ornaments, some on the main ridges and some on the sloping and branch ridges.

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