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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:04 PM   #81
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SUZHOU 苏州













































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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:11 PM   #82
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:25 PM   #83
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Awesome thread!! Keep 'em coming!!
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:39 PM   #84
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Tang Paradise XiAn 大唐芙蓉园 西安














































































































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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:47 PM   #85
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Tang Paradise XiAn 大唐芙蓉园 西安

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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:53 PM   #86
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Tang Paradise XiAn 大唐芙蓉园 西安

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Old September 2nd, 2009, 03:08 PM   #87
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Wow great pics loong!

I'm glad this thread is picking up again; it went quiet for awhile.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 04:26 PM   #88
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Hengdian World Studios Zhengjiang Province 横店影视城

Hengdian World Studios




Hengdian World Studios is the largest film studio [1] in the world. It is located in Hengdian, a village of Dongyang county in Zhejiang Province. The movie studio is operated by the privately-owned Hengdian Group founded by a farmer turned millionaire Xu Wenrong. Sometimes called "Chinawood", Xu turned acres of farmland in central Zhejiang into one of the largest movie studio in Asia. Construction began in the mid 1990's and have been ongoing ever since with the possible recent addition of the replica of the Old Summer Palace.




The studio consists of 13 shooting bases with a total area of up to 330 ha. and building areas of 49,5995 square meters. In addition to its huge scale, the studio also has several records which includes:

Largest Indoor Buddha Figure in China.
Largest Scale Indoor Studio.
Most number of Films and Teleplay Shoots as of 2005.
One of the studio's largest buildings is the Imperial Palace Building built in the Early Chinese Dynasty style to mimic those in the Qin and Han period. That area is still frequently used to shoot movies based on these eras. Internationally acclaimed director Zhang Yimou used this building as the backdrop for the Emperor Qin's palace for his 2002 movie Hero.[3] A Hong Kong TVB drama serial titled A Step into the Past which tells the story of the First Qin Emperor also used the same building as the main backdrop. The studio was also used to film The Forbidden Kingdom, the first on-screen collaboration between Hong Kong actors Jackie Chan and Jet Li.[4]

The large number of movies being filmed at Hengdian has supported employment in surrounding villages by employing local villagers as 'extras' in these large movie sets. [5]

Today, Hengdian World Studios consists of a theme park and has attractions such as Guangzhou and Hong Kong Street areas, Emperor Qin Palace, Dazhi Temple and Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.





























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Old September 2nd, 2009, 04:29 PM   #89
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 04:31 PM   #90
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 04:33 PM   #91
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 01:41 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nouveau.ukiyo View Post
^ what exactly is going on here in these Xian pictures? Where is this?



I think this is The square of Ci'En temple . (大慈恩寺遗址公园广场)
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 03:36 PM   #93
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Tang Dynasty 唐王朝

The Tang Dynasty (Chinese: 唐朝; pinyin: Táng Cháo; Middle Chinese: dhɑng) (June 18, 618 – June 4, 907) was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li (李) family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire. The dynasty was interrupted briefly by the Second Zhou Dynasty (October 16, 690 – March 3, 705) when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, becoming the first and only Chinese empress regnant, ruling in her own right.




The Tang Dynasty, with its capital at Chang'an (present-day Xi'an), the most populous city in the world at the time, is regarded by historians as a high point in Chinese civilization—equal to or surpassing that of the earlier Han Dynasty—as well as a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Its territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, was greater than that of the Han period, and rivaled that of the later Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. The enormous Grand Canal of China, built during the previous Sui Dynasty, facilitated the rise of new urban settlements along its route as well as increased trade between mainland Chinese markets. The canal is to this day the longest in the world. In two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Tang records stated that the population (by number of registered households) was about 50 million people.[1][2][3]a[›] However, even when the central government was breaking down and unable to compile an accurate census of the population in the 9th century, it is estimated that the population in that century had grown to the size of about 80 million people.[4][5] With its large population base, the dynasty was able to raise professional and conscripted armies of hundreds of thousands of troops to contend with nomadic powers in dominating Inner Asia and the lucrative trade routes along the Silk Road. Various kingdoms and states paid tribute to the Tang court, while the Tang also conquered or subdued several regions which it indirectly controlled through a protectorate system. Besides political hegemony, the Tang also exerted a powerful cultural influence over neighboring states such as those in Korea and Japan.




In Chinese history, the Tang Dynasty was largely a period of progress and stability, except during the An Shi Rebellion and the decline of central authority in the latter half of the dynasty. Like the previous Sui Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty maintained a civil service system by drafting officials through standardized examinations and recommendations to office. This civil order was undermined by the rise of regional military governors known as jiedushi during the 9th century. Chinese culture flourished and further matured during the Tang era; it is considered the greatest age for Chinese poetry.[6] Two of China's most famous historical poets, Du Fu and Li Bai, belonged to this age, as well as the poets Meng Haoran, Du Mu, and Bai Juyi. Many famous visual artists lived during this era, such as the renowned painters Han Gan, Zhang Xuan, and Zhou Fang. There was a rich variety of historical literature compiled by scholars, as well as encyclopedias and books on geography. There were many notable innovations during the Tang, including the development of woodblock printing, the government compilations of materia medica, improvements in cartography and the application of hydraulics to power air conditioning fans. The religious and philosophical ideology of Buddhism became a major aspect of Chinese culture, with native Chinese sects becoming the most prominent. However, Buddhism would eventually be persecuted by the state and would decline in influence. Although the dynasty and central government were in decline by the 9th century, art and culture continued to flourish. The weakened central government largely withdrew from managing the economy, but the country's mercantile affairs stayed intact and commercial trade continued to thrive regardless.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 04:19 PM   #94
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Big Wild Goose Pagoda-Da Ci'en Temple Xi'An / 大雁塔-大慈恩寺 西安

As the symbol of the old-line Xian, Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. It is located in the southern suburb of Xian City, about 4 kilometers (2.49 miles) from the downtown of the city. Standing in the Da Ci'en Temple complex, it attracts numerous visitors for its fame in the Buddhist religion, its simple but appealing style of construction, and its new square in front of the temple. It is rated as a National Key Cultural Relic Preserve as well as an AAAA Tourist Attraction.



This attraction can be divided into three parts: the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Da Ci'en Temple, and the North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda.





Big Wild Goose Pagoda


Originally built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were taken from India by the hierarch Xuanzang.


Xuanzang started off from Chang'an (the ancient Xian), along the Silk Road and through deserts, finally arriving in India, the cradle of Buddhism. Enduring 17 years and traversing 100 countries, he obtained Buddha figures, 657 kinds of sutras, and several Buddha relics. Having gotten the permission of Emperor Gaozong (628-683), Xuanzang, as the first abbot of Da Ci'en Temple, supervised the building of a pagoda inside it. With the support of royalty, he asked 50 hierarchs into the temple to translate Sanskrit in sutras into Chinese, totaling 1,335 volumes, which heralded a new era in the history of translation. Based on the journey to India, he also wrote a book entitled 'Pilgrimage to the West' in the Tang Dynasty, to which scholars attached great importance.



First built to a height of 60 meters (197 feet) with five stories, it is now 64.5 meters (211.6 feet) high with an additional two stories. It was said that after that addition came the saying-'Saving a life exceeds building a seven-storied pagoda'. Externally it looks like a square cone, simple but grand and it is a masterpiece of Buddhist construction. Built of brick, its structure is very firm. Inside the pagoda, stairs twist up so that visitors can climb and overlook the panorama of Xian City from the arch-shaped doors on four sides of each storey. On the walls are engraved fine statues of Buddha by the renowned artist Yan Liben of the Tang Dynasty. Steles by noted calligraphers also grace the pagoda.



As for the reason why it is called Big Wild Goose Pagoda, there is a legend. According to ancient stories of Buddhists, there were two branches, for one of which eating meat was not a taboo. One day, they couldn't find meat to buy. Upon seeing a group of big wild geese flying by, a monk said to himself: 'Today we have no meat. I hope the merciful Bodhisattva will give us some.' At that very moment, the leading wild goose broke its wings and fell to the ground. All the monks were startled and believed that Bodhisattva showed his spirit to order them to be more pious. They established a pagoda where the wild goose fell and stopped eating meat. Hence it got the name 'Big Wild Goose Pagoda'.







Da Ci'en Temple


Da Ci'en Temple is the home of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In 648, to commemorate the dead virtuous queen, royalty ordered the building of a temple named 'Ci'en' (Mercy and Kindness), for which the status and scale far exceeded all others. Today, with an area of 32,314 square meters (38,648.5 square yards), one seventh of the original area, it still retains its grandeur.



Before the temple, there stands a statue of hierarch Xuanzang, the meritorious hierarch. Walking on and across a small bridge, visitors will see the gates of the temple. With guarding lions, the temple seems stately for lions were said to function as talismans.



Entering the temple you will see two buildings-Bell Tower in the east and Drum Tower in the west. Inside the Bell Tower hangs an iron bell 15 tons (14.76 gross tons) in weight. It was molded in 1548 in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Along the central axis are arranged the Hall of Mahavira, Sermon Hall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Hall of Xuanzang Sanzang. In the Hall of Mahavira are three carved statues of Sakyamuni, and 18 arhats as well as Xuanzang. The Sermon Hall is where Buddhist disciples would listen to a sermon. A bronze statue of Amitabha is dedicated and a Buddha statue is collected by Xuanzang as oblation. The Hall of Xuanzang Sanzang is north of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In this hall are Xuanzang's relic and a bronze statue of a seated Xuanzang. The inner wall is chiseled with murals depicting this hierarch's story. Renowned as the contemporary Dunhuang Buddhist storehouse praised by UNESCO, it is the biggest memorial of Xuanzang.








North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda


Surrounding Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the scenery is also quite charming, especially the square north of the Da Ci'en Temple. Covering about 110,000 square meters (131563 square yards) plus 20,000 square meters (23920.6 square yards) of water area, it holds many records: in Asia, it is the biggest Tang-culture square, the biggest fountain and waterscape square, and the largest-scale sculptures area. In the world, it has the most benches, the longest light-belt, and the largest-scale acoustic complex.


The entire square is composed of waterscape fountains, a cultural square, gardens and tourist paths. There you can taste real Chinese culture and traditions and fully enjoy the truly attractive views. With reliefs on the theme of the prosperous Tang Dynasty, 200-meter-long (656-foot-long) sculpture groups, 8 groups of sculpted figures, 40 relievos on the land, and 22 styles of musical fountains, it has become a must-see when you visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda.


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Old September 3rd, 2009, 06:11 PM   #95
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Big Wild Goose Pagoda-Da Ci'en Temple Xi'An / 大雁塔-大慈恩寺 西安

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Old September 3rd, 2009, 06:31 PM   #96
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Big Wild Goose Pagoda-Da Ci'en Temple Xi'An / 大雁塔-大慈恩寺 西安

Big Wild Goose Pagoda-Da Ci'en Temple Xi'An / 大雁塔-大慈恩寺 西安










































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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:29 PM   #97
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Big Wild Goose Pagoda-Da Ci'en Temple Xi'An / 大雁塔-大慈恩寺 西安

Big Wild Goose Pagoda-Da Ci'en Temple Xi'An / 大雁塔-大慈恩寺 西安






























































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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:33 PM   #98
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Big Wild Goose Pagoda-Da Ci'en Temple Xi'An / 大雁塔-大慈恩寺 西安

































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Old September 5th, 2009, 07:24 AM   #99
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This is what I am talking about. They're beautiful.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 06:41 AM   #100
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i love you my motherland
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