During Chinese ancient times, the memorial archway was used to commend exploits, imperial examination results, benevolent rule and loyalty.
Known as paifang or pailou, the archway could be made of wood, brick or stone, with or without glazed tiles, often carrying some inscriptions on the middle beam.
Now, visiting the memorial archways, you still might catch a trace from their historical importance as one enters ancient Chinese culture. >>more
First built during the Ming Dynasty in 1417, Chengtianmen was made of wood and was an emblem for “receiving the heavenly mandate and launching worldly fortune”. 1651, Emperor Shunzhi from the Qin Dynasty ordered Chengtianmen to be rebuilt at the original site and renamed it Tiananmen.
Since Chengtianmen was named as a “gate”, why is it considered to be a memorial archway? And why is it located in front of Forbidden City? These questions can be answered through the explanations behind the origin of memorial archways. >>more