Global Treasures PULE SI Qing Dynasty Summer Palace Outer Temple Chengde, China
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Once the summer residence of the Chinese Qing Emperor, Chengde is full of historical significance. Construction of the spacious and exquisite palace lasted almost throughout the 18th century. In 1792, this architectural masterpiece was finally completed and in addition to this spacious building, several monasteries and temples were also built, the ‘Eight Outer Temples’.
Pule Si, ‘The Temple of Universal Joy’, is situated in the middle of the sanctuaries´ Eastern section. The Eight Outer Temples symbolize various Chinese ethnic groups. Those who were loyal to the emperor were duly honored within this temple area. Thus, numerous characteristic, both of cultural and traditional elements of the country’s regions, were incorporated into both art and architecture. The Temple of Universal Joy, Pule Si, and the relatively remote sanctuary of Shuxiang Si, respectively represent the North and South of the Chinese Empire. The main administrative building within the Pule Si Temple is the circular Pavilion Of The Dawn, Xuguang Ge and is a replica of the Heaven Temple in Beijing.
Washing Bat Hill, to which there is a chair lift, is close to the settlement. The architecture of the Heaven Altar in Beijing was studied extensively several years before construction of the Pule Si Temple. In 1749, Emperor Qianlong ordered that the temple be extended. In Chengde, profound symbolism was also important. The location, extension and decoration of the buildings were designed to create a perfect harmony.
In the 18th century, China had become the greatest and most prosperous empire in the world. The magnificent summer residence of the Qing Emperor and surrounding buildings, such as the Pule Si Temple illustrate a glorious and remarkable demonstration of ultimate power.
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