Friday, October 29, 2010

Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang

View from Tian An Men or Gate of Heavenly Peace square. Although Mao's potrait hangs here, we were told by our guide that he never stepped inside the Forbidden Palace.It seems that Mao was a strong believer of Feng Shui. He was born of the water element while the Palace was build on a spot that was of an earth element. Earth it is believed, will overcome the water sign.It was here that he announced the estabishment of the People's Republic Of China

The Chinese called it Zijingcheng which literally mens Purple Forbidden City due to the colour of the walls.At 180 acres it is the world's largest palace

The outer courts are where ceremonies are held

The forbidden palace consists of the inner court like this where the emperor and his family lives and the outer courts where ceremonies are held.One quarter of the space is set aside to house the women. There are 9,999 rooms in the forbidden palace.The 10,000th room is reserved for heaven

It is home to 24 emperors
Water is placed in vats like this to fight fires.In winter a fire is kept going underneath to prevent the water from freezing

Seat of supreme power for over five centuries (1416-1911), the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its landscaped gardens and many buildings (whose nearly 10,000 rooms contain furniture and works of art), constitutes a priceless testimony to Chinese civilization during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty in Shenyang consists of 114 buildings constructed between 1625–26 and 1783. It contains an important library and testifies to the foundation of the last dynasty that ruled China, before it expanded its power to the centre of the country and moved the capital to Beijing. This palace then became auxiliary to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. This remarkable architectural edifice offers important historical testimony to the history of the Qing Dynasty and to the cultural traditions of the Manchu and other tribes in the north of China.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Heritage Sites of China-The Great Wall

You are not a man until you have climbed the Great Wall

Mao Tse Tung

The Ming Wall at Jun Yong Gate.It is located on the outskirts of Beijing


Date of Inscription: 1987
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)
Localization: N40 25 0.012 E116 4 59.988
Liaoning, Jilin, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Gansu, Xinjiang, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Qinghai provinces, municipalities and autonomous Regions
Ref: 438

Brief Description
In c. 220 B.C., under Qin Shi Huang, sections of earlier fortifications were joined together to form a united defence system against invasions from the north. Construction continued up to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), when the Great Wall became the world's largest military structure. Its historic and strategic importance is matched only by its architectural significance.

La Grande Muraille
Vers 220 av. J.-C., Qin Shin Huang entreprit de réunir des tronçons de fortifications existants pour en faire un système défensif cohérent contre les invasions venues du nord. Poursuivis jusque sous les Ming (1368-1644), ces travaux ont produit le plus gigantesque ouvrage de génie militaire du monde. Son importance historique et stratégique n'a d'égale que sa valeur architecturale.

السور العظيم
قرابة العام 220 ق.م. بدأ كين شين هوانغ يجمع بقايا حصون قائمة ليُشكّل فسيفساء نظام دفاع متسقِ في وجه اجتياحات الشمال. وتتابعت هذه الأعمال أثناء حكم سلاسة مينغ (1368-1644) فأثمرت أعظم إبداع عسكري عملاق في العالم. ولا توزاي أهميّة السور التاريخيّة والإستراتيجيّة سوى قيمته الهندسيّة.


Великая Китайская Стена
В 220-х гг. до н.э. во времена правления Цинь Шихуанди участки построенных ранее укреплений были сведены в единую оборонительную систему против вторжений с севера. Строительство продолжалось вплоть до времени династии Мин (1368-1644 гг.), когда Великая Китайская Стена стала крупнейшим в мире военным сооружением. Ее историческая и стратегическая важность может сравниться только с ее архитектурной значимостью.

La Gran Muralla
Hacia el año 220 a.C., el primer emperador Qin Shin Huang ordenó reunir los tramos de fortificaciones construidas anteriormente, a fin de crear un sistema de defensa coherente contra las invasiones de los pueblos del Norte. Los trabajos de edificación de la Gran Muralla prosiguieron hasta la dinastí­a de los Ming (1368-1644), dando por resultado la obra de ingenierí­a militar mí¡s gigantesca de todos los tiempos. Su gran valor arquitectónico es comparable a su importancia histórica y estratégica.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Heritage sites of China-Historic Centre of Macau

The historic centre of Macao lists a total of 25 heritage sites. A very impressive figure for a territory of only 29 square kilometres


Date of Inscription: 2005
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)
Property : 16.1678 ha
Buffer zone: 106.7910 ha
Macao Special Administrative Region
N22 11 28.651 E113 32 11.26
Ref: 1110

Brief Description
Macao, a lucrative port of strategic importance in the development of international trade, was under Portuguese administration from the mid-16th century until 1999, when it came under Chinese sovereignty. With its historic street, residential, religious and public Portuguese and Chinese buildings, the historic centre of Macao provides a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technological influences from East and West. The site also contains a fortress and a lighthouse, the oldest in China. It bears witness to one of the earliest and longest-lasting encounters between China and the West, based on the vibrancy of international trade.


Justification for Inscription

Criterion (ii): The strategic location of Macao on the Chinese territory, and the special relationship established between the Chinese and Portuguese authorities favoured an important interchange of human values in the various fields of culture, sciences, technology, art and architecture over several centuries.

Criterion (iii): Macao bears a unique testimony to the first and longest-lasting encounter between the West and China. From the 16th to the 20th centuries, it was the focal point for traders and missionaries, and the different fields of learning. The impact of this encounter can be traced in the fusion of different cultures that characterise the historic core zone of Macao.

Criterion (iv): Macao represents an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble that illustrates the development of the encounter between the Western and Chinese civilisations over some four and half centuries, represented in the historical route, with a series of urban spaces and architectural ensembles, that links the ancient Chinese port with the Portuguese city.

Criterion (vi): Macao has been associated with the exchange of a variety of cultural, spiritual, scientific and technical influences between the Western and Chinese civilisations. These ideas directly motivated the introduction of crucial changes in China, ultimately ending the era of imperial feudal system and establishing the modern republic.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Macau heritage sites-A Ma Temple

It was said that when the Portuguese landed on a beach near the A Ma temple,they asked the local inhabitants the name of the land, but the locals misunderstood, thinking that the Portuguese were asking for the name of the temple. So they answered 'Ma Ge', which was the name of the temple. Later, the Portuguese translated the named into 'Macau' and used it to refer to the land.
The A-Ma Temple, located in the southeast of the Macau Peninsula, is the oldest temple in Macau. It was constructed in the year of 1488 of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to commemorate Mazu, the sacred sea goddess who blesses the fishermen of Macau
It is said that the goddess was called Lin Mo, and that she was born in Putian City, Fujian Province, and was more intelligent than other children her age. She could predict good or ill luck and after her death she often helped merchants and fishermen ward off calamities and turn danger into safety.

Intricate stone carvings of southern Chinese style adorn the temple

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Heritage sites of Macau-Senado Square

The Senado Square, or Senate Square (Portuguese: Largo do Senado, is a paved area in the centre of the former Portuguese colony of Macau, China, enclosed by the buildings of the Leal Senado, the General Post Office, and St. Dominic’s Church. The square is paved in the traditional Portuguese pavement.

Portuguese pavement or Calçada Portuguesa, is the traditional pavement used for most pedestrian areas in Portugal and old Portuguese colonies such as Brazil and Macau.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Macau-Holy House of Mercy

Located in a quiet lane just off Senado Square.It ws founded In 1569 by the first Bishop of Macao, Dom Belchior Carneiro.

The neo-classical Holy House of Mercy (Santa Casa de Misericordia) was the first charity association to be established in Macau, and houses the needy elderly in Our Lady of Mercy Home for the Aged free of charge. Macau's first lottery tickets were also launched by the Holy House of Mercy for charity purposes.

On the second floor of the Holy House of Mercy, you can find the skull, cross and full-length oil painting of Dorn Belchior Carneiro.

Heitage sites of Macau-Cathedral Square

Situated near Rua de S. Domingos, the Cathedral is located on the top of the nearby paved hill. Here, Midnight Mass is held at Christmas and the Procession of the Passion of Our Lord is enacted every year. The Bishop's Palace is located next to it.

as early as 1576, when it was a mere wooden shed. This was replaced by a more permanent structure in 1622.

Services were held here except when it underwent repairs in 1780, when Mass was done at the Holy House of Mercy. However, the repairs did not save it from a mighty typhoon that blew it down in 1836. Services were then continued at the St Dominic's Church, until its replacement, designed by local architect Tomas d'Aquino, was built between 1844 and 1850. On 14 February, 1950, Bishop Jeronimo José da Mata consecrated the cathedral church of Macau and the first Mass was held there.

The cathedral stood firm against several more typhoons. Nonetheless, by the 1930's, it had to be rebuilt. The present building, in the shape of a basilica, dates to the reconstruction which was completed in 1937. It was finished in Shanghai plaster, which gives

In 1575, the Catholic church was established in Macau - named the City of the Name of God - and promptly became the centre of Catholicism in Asia. In 1576, the Cathedral was built and many important relics of the 16th & 17th Century are stored here.The present building stands on the site of several previous cathedrals. The original cathedral was the church of Our Lady of Hope of St. Lazarus, declared the mother church of the Macau diocese which included the religious provinces of China, Japan, Korea and other islands adjacent to China. The first stone Cathedral, consecrated in 1850, was almost destroyed in a typhoon 24 years later and had to be extensively repaired.

The Cathedral was completely rebuilt in 1937. It has two solid towers and massive doors. Inside, its chief beauty lies in its fine stained-glass windows.

The Cathedral square has recently been refurbished, and an imposing fountain added, providing a convenient spot for residents and visitors to relax in comfort. Less than 2 minutes walk from the Cathedral lie the major thoroughfares of Rua de S. Domingos, Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro and Avenida de Praia Grande.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Heritage Sites of Macau-St Dominic's Church

Standing on the site of a chapel and convent built by the Dominicans in the 1590's St. Dominic's Church dates from the early 17th century. It has an imposing facade of cream-coloured stone with white stucco mouldings and green-shutted windows. Inside, white pillars support a flat ceiling and apron balconies trim the walls. The great baroque altar contains a cream and white statue of the Virgin and Child and a painting of Christ. The church has a fine collection of exquisitely-carved ivory and wood saints.

St. Dominic's Church has a violently dramatic past. In 1644 a military officer who supported the Spanish against the Portuguese was murdered at the altar during Mass. In 1707 the Dominicans sided with the Pope against Macau's bishop in the Rites Controversy. When local soldiers tried to enforce an excommunication order on them, the friars locked themselves in the church for three days and pelted the soldiers with stones. In 1834 the monastic orders were suppressed and for a time the church was used by the government as barracks, stable and public works office.

St. Dominic's Church was renovated in 1997 and opened to the public with a museum, on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor. The museum shows paintings, sculptures and liturgical ornaments that illustrate the history of the Roman Catholic church in Asia.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Macau-Ruins of St Pauls

The bones of matrys are kept in the crypt

All that remains of the greatest of Macau's churches is its magnificent stone facade and grand staircase. The church was built in 1602 adjoining the Jesuit College of St. Paul's, the first Western college in the Far East where missionaries such as Matteo Ricci and Adam Schall studied Chinese before serving at the Ming Court in Beijing as astronomers and mathematicians. The church, made of taipa and wood, was brilliantly decorated and furnished, according to early travelers. The facade of carved stone was built in 1620-27 by Japanese Christian exiles and local craftsmen under the direction of Italian Jesuit Carlo Spinola.

After the expulsion of the Jesuits, the college was used as an army barracks and in 1835 a fire started in the kitchens and destroyed the college and the body of the church. The surviving facade rised in 4 colonnaded tiers, and is covered with carvings and statues which eloquently illustrate the early days of the Church in Asia. There are statues of the Virgin and saints, symbols of the Garden of Eden and the Crucifixion, angels and the devil, a Chinese dragon and a Japanese chrysanthemum, a Portuguese sailing ship and pious warnings inscribed in Chinese.

After restoration work, lasting from 1990 to 1995, the back side of the Ruins of St. Paul's was turned into a museum. The ruins are regarded as the symbol of Macau and now offer visitors a new site where they can view the remains of the former Church of the Mother of God, visit a Crypt where the relics of the Martyrs of Japan and Vietnam rest, and a museum of Sacred Art where there are exhibits of paintings, sculptures and liturgical objects from churches and monasteries in the City.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Leshan Buddha

View of the Great Buddha from the river
Date of Inscription: 1996
Criteria: (iv)(vi)(x)
Property : 15400.0000 ha
Eimeishan City, Sichuan Province
N29 32 41.64 E103 46 9.3
Ref: 779

Brief Description
The first Buddhist temple in China was built here in Sichuan Province in the 1st century A.D. in the beautiful surroundings of the summit Mount Emei. The addition of other temples turned the site into one of Buddhism's holiest sites. Over the centuries, the cultural treasures grew in number. The most remarkable is the Giant Buddha of Leshan, carved out of a hillside in the 8th century and looking down on the confluence of three rivers. At 71 m high, it is the largest Buddha in the world. Mount Emei is also notable for its exceptionally diverse vegetation, ranging from subtropical to subalpine pine forests. Some of the trees there are more than 1,000 years old.


Justification for Inscription

The Committee decided to inscribe the nominated property under cultural criteria (iv) and (vi) considering the area of Mt. Emei is of exceptional cultural significance, since it is the place where Buddhism first became established on Chinese territory and from where it spread widely throughout the east. It is also an area of natural beauty into which the human element has been integrated, and natural criterion (x) for its high plant species diversity with a large number of endemic species. It also underlined the importance of the link between the tangible and intangible, the natural and the cultural.