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Great Wall

Updated: 2014-12-01 14:08:10

( Chinaculture.org )

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A batch of ancient artistic creations such as oral literature, dances, music, drawing and sculptures, were admirable evidence of this in the distant past. Architectural art, considered to be the earliest art of mankind, naturally also found expression.China's Great Wall is a famous example that transcends ideology.

Far back to the Western Zhou Dynasty in the 9th century BC, people began to build beacon towers along the borderline. When the enemy came, people used fires on the towers to provide early warning. During the Spring and Autumn andWarringStatesperiods (770-221BC), mutually defensive beacon towers were also built along the national boundaries between various countries. In the middle of the 7th century BC, in order to link up various isolated beacon towers bordering the State ofQin,ChuStatewas the first to set up city walls, becoming the earliest part of the Great Wall. Later, similar walls were built one after another by various states. After Emperor Qinshihuang unifiedChina, he demolished the walls between the various states, leaving behind only those of Yan, Zhao and Qin and linked them together, so as to resist the attack by northern nomadic people. This section of the Great Wall goes west from Lintao and east to Liaodong.

The Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) extended the Great Wall toward the west and setup theYumenguanPassand theYangguanPassinGansu's Dunhuang. By the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Great Wall totaled 6,350 km. Historically, the Great Wall had played a great role, guarding against the inroads of the northern nomadic people and guaranteeing the tranquility of the central plain, ensuring the unimpeded traffic of the Silk Road for economic and cultural exchanges between Chinese and Western countries, and promoting peace, trade and exchanges among various nationalities at frontier points.

Today, the practical functions of the Great Wall as defense work no longer exist, but its beauty has long remained up to this date, becoming the object of beauty for sightseeing.

The Great Wall extends mostly along the undulating mountain ridges, with close interdependence of precipitous topography-mountains and walls in the outer side of the mountain ridges often made use of to reinforce the structure. The mystical picture resulting from the combination of points, lines and areas formed by the majestic passes, rotating city walls, strong towers, turrets, enemy fortresses and solitary and unique beacon towers have all become part of the rhythm of beauty. The beauty of the Great Wall comes from its grandeur, a kind of noble beauty characterized by magnificence, firmness, grandeur and boldness. It is an expression of the pioneering spirit of the Chinese who pursue peace and dare to make progress, conveying deep national sentiment.

Therefore, the Great Wall is not only beautiful, but is also a symbol of the character of the Chinese nation. It is clear that the nature of architectural art not only demonstrates the form of a certain beauty, it also demands playing up a certain kind of strong feeling, temperament and interest, countenance and appeal and finally exhibiting a tendency related to a certain thought and concept. If stressing esthetic beauty that only pleases the eye is shallow delight, then stressing the artistic beauty that gladdens the heart is all the more a pursuit of artistic conception, and richer and deeper heart-stirring sincerity.

Based on the broad and profound Chinese culture,China's architecture has gained unique and great achievements, giving a profound expression to a culture which is the pride of the Chinese people.

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