Royal Archives, China. Travel to Beijing
For many centuries, China remained an incomprehensible and mysterious country for a Western person
For a long time, local residents jealously guarded their culture against the encroachments of the "white barbarians". In the XIX century, the European colonialists destroyed the self-isolation of China. The invaluable knowledge accumulated over thousands of years, the amazing products of Chinese masters and literature became the property of the whole world. However, the Celestial Empire still keeps many secrets and spiritual treasures.
The culture of China evolved over thousands of years of many components, one of which is literature. The very first memorandum of literary culture was the "Book of Songs," or as it is called by the Chinese, "Shijin." Its appearance is equated by historians to the XII-VII centuries. BC. The "Book of Songs" contains many different literary works: here are angry motives relating to the rulers and their cruel way of government, taxes and other injustices, as well as works about love, friendship, loyalty.
Ancient China quickly became one of the world's major centers of science and philosophy. The high development of science in China contributed to its close connection with practice. Scientific treatises were of an applied nature and were guides for agronomists, sailors, officials, healers, etc. The main emphasis was placed on exact and natural sciences. In addition to practical necessity, this contributed to the religious and philosophical views of the Chinese, inspired by nature and who paid great attention to numerical symbolism.
The most popular genre in Chinese painting is landscape. Nature was revered in many ancient Chinese philosophical and religious teachings. The running of the waves, the majestic mountains, the plants dying in the fall and reviving in the spring, were for the Chinese incarnations of the infinite circulation of life and eternity. In addition, nature has become a kind of aesthetic ideal and an example to follow. The key artistic images in Chinese art are water, mountain and wood. These objects, one way or another, are found on virtually all samples of ancient Chinese painting. Water symbolized the cosmic flow of the Tao; the mountain is inviolability; and the tree personified the mythical Tree of Life and the constant renewal of nature. Nature is the main character in many ancient Chinese paintings. Images of people, animals, buildings or any objects, as a rule, are somewhat lost against the backdrop of majestic landscapes and play a supporting role.
Chinese culture: uniqueness and originality in each line
The history of the Celestial Empire has more than one thousand years, so it is not surprising that over the entire existence of this country an amazing culture has been formed, which is so different from the development paths of other states. The fact that China has been isolated for a long time, almost without intersecting with Western countries and taking over cultural values from them, played a role in creating this uniqueness.
Chinese buildings are difficult to confuse with any other country or culture. Characteristic features such as bilateral symmetry, the presence of courtyards, the extent in breadth, adherence to a strict hierarchy in the arrangement of rooms, as well as decorative trim walls and roofs - all this makes China's architecture recognizable and inimitable.
In spite of the fact that recently buildings with Western type have been actively erected in the Celestial Empire, traditional Chinese architecture still does not lose its relevance. Proof of this are the numerous temples, pagodas and palaces that coexist with high-rise buildings made of concrete and glass.
All the main architectural features that exist in China and in our time, originated and firmly entered the life of the Chinese in the far third century BC. On the foundation, made of stones, the pillars and walls of the building were erected, on top of the structure there was a roof, the characteristic feature of which was the corners bent to the top. In order for the house to be protected from evil envious people, figures of various good spirits were installed on the roof.
Chinese temples and pagodas (the so-called towers, consisting of a large number of tiers) were built in extremely quiet and surprisingly beautiful places. In each temple there was necessarily a statue of Buddha, and not one. The number was not limited and it was believed that the more Buddhas, the better.
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