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Shenyang Imperial Palace 沈阳故宫

Profile:Shenyang Imperial Palace 沈阳故宫
First built in 1625 AD, Shenyang Imperial Palace was the royal palace of founding emperors Nurhachi and his son Abahai (Huangtaiji) before they entered the hinterland China. It was also called Shengjing Palace and after they settled in the central plain it was renamed into Co-capital Palace and Eastward Inspection Palace. Having undergone several times of significant innovation and decoration, it became what is now Shenyang Imperial Palace Museum. Shenyang Imperial Palace and The Imperial Palace in Beijing constitute the only two complete royal palace complex of Ming and Qing Dynasties now exiting in China.
The streets in the old city of Shenyang were in the shape of Chinese character Jing (well) and Shenyang Imperial Palace is right situated in the middle of the streets, with an area of 60,000m2 and 114 ancient buildings (today). In terms of architectural layout and time of construction, the palace can be divided into three sections: on the east side are the Palace of Great Affairs Ten Kings Pavilion built during the reign of Nurhachi; in the middle lies the Dazhong Palace constructed during the reign of Abahai (Huangtaiji), including Daqing Gate, Chongzheng Palace, and Phoenix Tower as well as Qingning Palace, Guanjiu Palace, Yanqing Palace, and Qifu Palace; on the west side stands the Wensu Pavilion further constructed during the reign of Emperor Qianlong. The whole palace is full of buildings and pavilions that tower around grandiosely, with carvings and paintings on beams that are overwhelmingly magnificent.
Dazheng Palace is an octagonal pavilion, with two dragon-circling pillars on both sides to suggest the stately atmosphere. It is a place for holding grand ceremonies like enthroning, announcing imperial edicts, military expedition and welcoming triumphant troops while the Ten Kings Pavilion is wher the dukes of Right and Left Wings and ministers of the Eight Banners used to hold council, which is also a phenomenon rarely happening in history. In terms of architecture, Dazheng Palace is actually a grand pavilion, which is only so big and magnificent that it is called a palace. So far as the layout is concerned, Dazheng Palace and the ten pavilions branching out curly are still modeled after tent of ethnic minorities. In fact, the 11 pavilions are, to some extent, 11 grand “tents”. As a tent is somewhat mobile while a pavilion seems to be fixed in a place, the palaces have also served as a milestone for the development of Manchu culture.
Standing in the center of front court in the middle of the streets, Chongzheng Palace is generally known as Jinluan Palace, the most important building of Shenyang Imperial Palace. The whole palace is a wooden structure comprising five rooms, nine beams and solid supporting walls, with partition doors, front and back corridors, and carved stone railings surrounding them. The corridor columns of the palace are square with water flowing from hornless dragon heads under them while the roof is yellow glazed tiles with dark green sides; the palace columns are circular and connected with a whole stone dragon between each two, the dragon heads extending outside while the tails inside. It is really a perfect combination of practicality and decoration, adding to the royal grandeur of the palace. This palace is wher Emperor Abahai (Huangtaiji) used to handle state affairs in Qing Dynasty and wher the Jin to Qing state-renaming ceremony was held in 1636 AD. The Phoenix Tower, which is three-storeyed, on the north side of Chongzheng Palace, was then the highest-rising buildings within the Shengjing City.
Shenyang Imperial Palace Museum is not only an old royal palace complex, but also a treasure house renowned at home and abroad, including a wealth of relics of royal court of the old palace now on display (e.g. the sword of Emperor Nurhachi).

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