National uniqueness and decoration of the gùgōng, the imperial (hang da) palace in beijing


  • Chang Peng Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture



Regional features, The Gùgōng Palace, The Ming Dynasty, Traditional Chinese architecture, Decor, Symbolic meaning, Cultural traditions, Colours


The article defines the historical background, town-planning significance, the principles of construction of the volume-spatial composition, the peculiarities of decoration of the Gùgōng, in China, the largest in the world palace complex, development of which continued during the Ming and Qing dynasties periods. The symbolism of decorative elements and polychromy is analyzed. The article presents basic concepts that characterize the traditional Chinese architecture.

In Chinese architecture and works of art, a special role was given to symbolic decoration and polychromy, which was also marked by a certain symbolic meaning.

Determined that traditional Chinese architecture is characterized by the following concepts associated with the construction of buildings of various functional purposes, traditional beliefs, elements of structures and symbols: tradition (Chuan tong), architecture (Jian zhu), temple (Si miao), pagoda (Bao ta), palace (Gong dian), park (Gong yuan), Daoism or Taoism (Gao xue), Confucianism (Yu xue), Buddhism (Fuo xue), interior (Shi nei), paintings (Bi hua), arbor (Ting zi), symbol (Fu hao), roof (Wu ding), support or pillar (Zhu zi), folding screen (Ping feng), timber (Mu cai), lotus (Lian hua), dragon (Long). The main colours of traditional Chinese polychromy are the following colours (yan se): red (Hong se de), golden (Yang se de), blue (Lan se de), green (Lv se de), white (Bai se de).

Comparative analysis of polychromy of everyday objects, works of art and architecture shows the dominance of open colors and simple images in ancient times and the gradual diversity of compositions and polychromy since the Song and Tang dynasties.

Complicating the plot and polychromatic diversity took place in the Yuan period, whereas in the Ming period (XIV c.) formed a certain standard of fresco paintings and decor of religious and secular character, which is concentrated in the ensemble of the Gùgōng Imperial Palace).

The location of the palace complex of the Ming and Qing dynasties in the city, the design of the complex itself, its architectural image and the smallest details, reflected a hierarchy of the social structure of the state, symbolized the divine majesty of imperial power, reflected the foundations of philosophy and religious teachings. All the main halls of the outer and inner palaces are grouped into groups of three – according to the format of the trigram of ‘Cyan’, which symbolizes the Sky.


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