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Leaning Tower of Pisa – Italy

By |2017-07-31T09:41:07+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Leaning Tower of Pisa The Leaning Tower of Pisa wasn't supposed to lean at all. It was supposed to just be the bell tower for the Cathedral of Pisa. It was to hold the bells that rang to tell people when to come to church. But they built the tower in the Early Middle Ages, about 1173 [...]

What is a minaret? Islamic architecture

By |2017-07-23T07:55:20+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Africa, Architecture, Islam, West Asia|

Kairouan's minaret - the oldest minaret still standing today. A minaret was a tower that Islamic holy men called muezzins climbed in order to call out the call to prayer, five times a day. It was a tall thin building with stairs inside it (or sometimes outside) and small windows to let in daylight. [...]

T’ang Dynasty architecture – medieval China

By |2018-04-18T09:53:27+00:00June 5th, 2017|Architecture, China, Medieval|

Longmen Caves (493-900 AD) By the time of the T'ang Dynasty, in the 600s AD, people were bringing together the Buddhist and Taoist traditions in China to create a new unified Chinese artistic style. At the Longmen Caves, sculptors carved many Buddhas and bodhisatvas in this new style. The T'ang emperors also built themselves [...]

Song Dynasty architecture – medieval China

By |2018-11-13T13:48:35+00:00June 5th, 2017|Architecture, China|

Liuhe Pagoda (Hangzhou, 1165 AD) Buddhist pagodas The architecture of the Song Dynasty, beginning in the 900s AD, continued the tradition of Buddhist pagodas. People wanted their pagodas to be tall and thin, with high spires. Architects started to build Buddhist pagodas out of stone. To make them fancier, pagodas had complicated wooden [...]

Chinese pagodas – Architecture – China

By |2018-04-18T09:53:25+00:00June 5th, 2017|Architecture, China|

Song Dynasty pagoda (Hong Kong) About 200 AD, near the end of the Han Dynasty, people in China began to hear about the new religion of Buddhism, which had started in India about 700 years earlier. Buddhists in China began to build special Buddhist buildings called pagodas which were like Indian Buddhist stupas. These buildings were [...]

Early Chinese Architecture – Shang to Ming – Palaces and pagodas

By |2018-04-18T09:54:16+00:00June 5th, 2017|Architecture, China|

Early Chinese architecture - A typical Chinese house Chinese houses Most people in ancient China could not afford to live in fancy houses. They lived in small houses made of mudbrick, with only one room and a dirt floor, or in larger compounds with a lot of people living in them. This was [...]