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A selection of architectures built during the 明朝Ming (1368-1644) and 清朝Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties. Not all the structures are originals: some were rebuilt on the exact spot, while others were built in the style of those eras.

NEW -- July 21, 2010

The beautiful city of Suzhou crisscrossed with narrow water canals

Category: 建筑Architecture

明清建筑图片Ming and Qing dynasty Architecture Pictures

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  • Picture of 天坛--祈年殿 Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

    祈年殿The round hall under sun-setting light,viewed from below its circular stone terrace.

  • Picture of 天安门 Tiananmen

    Tiananmen was built in 1417 during the Ming dynasty(1368-1644). It was originally named 承天门Chengtianmen, but the Qing emperor renamed it to its present name in 1651. The center lane was reserved for the emperor, and is closed to the public today.

  • Picture of 北京市 -- 鼓楼 Beijing City -- Drum Tower

    Side view of Beijing's large drum tower.

  • Picture of 北京市 -- 钟楼 Beijing City -- Bell Tower

    Beijing's heavy-duty bell tower. In it hangs one of China's largest and heaviest cast-iron bell.

  • Picture of 居庸关 Juyong Pass

    The main tower was for administration and record-keeping, as well as being the residence of officials and generals. It is a two-story classical designed building with a symetrical fascade. On top of the building,under the eaves, are the workds,"The Greatest Pass Under Heaven"; Below the building and wall is the archway where numerous convicts had passed.

  • Picture of 常家庄园 Chang Family's Compound

    A closer view of the main entrance tower.

  • Picture of 渠家大园 Qu family's compound

    The main building in the back of the compound. It is as decorated as a queen on her wedding ceremony.

  • Picture of 乔家大园 Qiao family's compound

    Main entrance to the two-storey build on the north side of the compound.

  • Picture of 老龙头 - 庙(天后宫) Laolongtou (Old Dragon Head) - Temple

    Courtyard of the temple complex.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound

    The three-stories high mansions, called "统楼"("tonglou"), on the north side of the rectangular compound.

  • Picture of 常家庄园 Chang Family's Compound
  • Picture of 常家庄园 - 观稼阁 Chang Family's Compound - Guanjiage Pavillion

    The large pavillion overlooking the private lake.

  • Picture of 北京市 -- 鼓楼 Beijing City --  Bell Tower

    The drum tower looking from atop the bell tower.

  • Picture of 嘉峪关 Jiayuguan (Jiayu Pass)

    The grand west gate and tower. Chinese fortress design was the most advance of its time.

  • Picture of 西递-刺史牌坊 xidi-Cishi Archway

    The Ming official 胡文光 Hu Wengang, a native of Xidi, had the stone arch created in 1578. It stands 12.3 meters high and 9.95 meters wide, the largest of its kind in Huangshan city today. It used the ratio of 三门四柱五楼 Three Doors,Four Pillars and Five Roofs.

  • Picture of 嘉峪关 Jiayuguan (Jiayu Pass)

    It's a lonely pass. But the city had expanded to almost its mighty walls.

  • Picture of 武当山 - 庙 Wudangshan ( Wudang Mountains ) - Temple

    A wordless corner of a temple.

  • Picture of 西递 xidi

    Rooftops at dawn. The unusal white walls with cascading small roofs are called "马头墙 Horsehead Wall"--so named because the white wall and tiled roof resemble a white horse and its mane flying in the air. It is a distinctive Anhui architectural trait.

  • Picture of 宏村 - 月沼 Hongcun village - Yuezhao (Crescent Lake)

    Late afternoon. The crescent lake is much quieter than the South lake. Around the pool and surrounding it are the classical buildings, most of which are from the Qing dynasty. The area looks like a large interior, and feels very intimate. The cats come here, the dogs go to the South lake.

  • Picture of 西递-绣楼 Xidi

    Romantically called a lady's ball-tossing tower, but in reality one of a Hu offical's retirement and self-cultivation loft. This part of the house is unusual because it broke the village design tradition by having the private room extend out to the public space.

  • Picture of 镇北台 Zhenbeitai Tower
  • Picture of 太谷 - 无边塔 Taigu - Wubianta (Boundless Pagoda)

    I found Wubianta (Boundless Pagoda) while I was looking for the 孔家大院Kong family's compound. It's entrance was in an old narrow street, so it was impossible to take a photo. I went around and came into a middle school. I sneaked in and went to the school's ball field which has a full view of the beautiful pagoda.

  • Picture of 居庸关 Juyong Pass

    The wall as it snakes up and down the hills.

  • Picture of 金山岭长城 Jinshanling Great Wall

    The rows of 障墙 inner walls that run perpendicular to the parapets are a second line of defence. If the enemies reached up the Wall, these barriers will allow the defenders to protect themselves while attacking those that try to scale up to the Little and Large Jinshan Towers.

  • Picture of 太谷 - 鼓楼 Taigu - Drum Tower

    Taigu's grand drum tower.

  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 平遥 Pingyao
  • Picture of 平遥 Pingyao
  • Picture of 渠家大园 Qu family's compound

    This building is also right on the entrance fascade, but set to the left side. The blurred images are sparrows speeding at near sunset hours. They are everywhere in all the places that I visited in Shanxi and elswhere.

  • Picture of 渠家大园 Qu family's compound

    The blue-gray fascade of the compound.

  • Picture of 天坛公园 -- 皇穹宇 Tiantan (Temple of Heaven) Park

    the 19 meter rotunda within the confines of the 回音壁 Echo Wall.

  • Picture of 故宫 Gugong(The Palace Museum)
  • Picture of 老龙头 - 庙 Laolongtou (Old Dragon Head) - Temple

    A stone bridge leads to the entrance gate of the temple complex.

  • Picture of 天坛 Tiantan (Temple of Heaven)

    the freshly painted Temple glowing with the sunlight

  • Picture of 故宫-午门 Gugong(The Palace Museum)

    The 午门Wumen(Meridian Gate) is the main south gate to the palace.

  • Picture of 故宫 (紫禁城) Gugong (Forbidden City)
  • Picture of 嘉峪关 Jiayuguan (Jiayu Pass)

    A closer look at the tower. This should be the west tower.

  • Picture of 故宫 (紫禁城) Gugong (Forbidden City)
  • Picture of 故宫 (紫禁城) Gugong (Forbidden City)
  • Picture of 天坛 Tiantan (Temple of Heaven)

    the Temple at sunset

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image of Wudangshan temple

The extraordinary temple complex in 湖北Hubei's legendary Daoist mountains - the source of much of China's famed 功夫Gongfu tradition.

image of Pingyao streetimage of the main gate tower to the Chang family's compound and gardern

The compounds and manors of the extreme wealthy in 山西Shanxi's small towns and villages. See the old town of 平遥Pingyao with well-preserved Ming and Qing city wall and street layout.

image of people on a boat in the Three Gorges area of the Changjiang river area

See the 三峡Three Gorges of the 长江Changjiang (Yangzi River) between 重庆市Chongqing city and 宜昌Yichang.

image of Tiananmen gateimage of the seventeen arch bridge in Yiheyuan

Walk through Beijing's great attractions -- 故宫Gugong (The Palace Museum), 天坛Tiantan (Temple of Heaven), 天坛天安门广场Tiananmen Square, 颐和园Yiheyuan (Summer Palace).

clay figure of 钟馗 Zhong Kui

Arts and Crafts that I bought along my travels.

image of Tulufan's Emin MinaretPortriat of a Uygur girl in 二堡乡 Erbaoxiang

See 吐鲁番Tulufan's well-known attractions -- 苏公塔Sugonta (Emin Minaret), 高昌城Gaochang Ruins, and 火焰山Huoyan Shan (Flaming Mountains).

My translations of some Chinese poems.