Foreign exchanges on architecture in ancient China

In ancient China, especially since the Jin Dynasty and the southern and Northern Dynasties, architectural technology and art had extensive exchanges with the eastern and western neighbors, which injected new blood into ancient Chinese architecture, and many new types of architecture appeared, such as grotto temple, Buddhist tower, etc. At the same time, Chinese architecture also has a profound impact on the buildings of neighboring countries.
As early as the third century of the Western Yuan Dynasty, the grotto statues originated in India were introduced from Kashmir and Afghanistan to Kuqa and Baicheng in the south of Tianshan Mountain in Western China, and then continued to spread to the East. During the Sixteen Kingdoms period, mogao grottoes were excavated at the beginning of Dunhuang in Gansu Province. In the Northern Wei Dynasty, it spread eastward into the Yellow River Basin, and successively built Yungang Grottoes in Datong, Shanxi, Bingling Temple Grottoes in Yongjing, Gansu, Maijishan Grottoes in Tianshui, Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, Henan. In the Northern Qi Dynasty, Tianlongshan Grottoes in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, and Xiangtangshan Grottoes in the South and north of Handan, Hebei Province were dug. These caves continued to be excavated in Sui and Tang Dynasties and extended to the south. Pagoda is also a kind of architecture from India. Some ancient Chinese pagodas, such as Lama pagoda and King Kong pagoda, were mostly transplanted from India.
After the Sui and Tang Dynasties, ancient Chinese architecture spread eastward with Buddhism crossing Korea and Japan. The early eastward transmission was mainly introduced indirectly by the countries on the Korean Peninsula. In the sixth century of the Western Yuan Dynasty (the era of Japanese flying birds), there were craftsmen from Baiji (now South Korea) who built the faxing Temple (flying bird Temple) according to the Chinese architectural style. The FaLong temple in Nara, Japan is also a Chinese temple built during this period. In the eighth century of the Western Yuan Dynasty, Jianzhen, a famous Chinese monk, traveled to Japan to promote Buddhism and established the Tang zhaoti temple in pingchengjing, which had a great influence on later Japanese architecture. From then on to the Southern Song Dynasty, Japanese monk Chongyuan introduced Chinese architecture from Fujian and other places in China, known as “Big Buddha”. With the introduction of Zen into Japan, Zen temples were also introduced. For a time, the monastery was flourishing and was known as “Zen like”. Before and after that, the influence of ancient Chinese architecture on Japanese architecture lasted for thousands of years.
Islam began to spread into China in the 7th century. At the same time, Islamic architecture was also introduced. It is either introduced into the mainland from Persia via Xinjiang, China, or from the sea to Guangzhou, Quanzhou, Hangzhou, Yangzhou and other places along the southeast coast. Since the Tang Dynasty, many Arab and Persian merchants have lived in China for a long time. They built places of worship according to their religious needs, which led to the mosque. Such as the Huaisheng temple in Guangzhou and the Shengyou temple in Quanzhou built in the Tang Dynasty. Later, in the song, yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, a large number of mosques were built in Western China and coastal areas, especially in the Yuan Dynasty, with 35 mosques in most of them. These temples introduced Arabic and Western Asian architectural forms and architectural arts into China. After a long-term integration, they became Chinese mosques, and many new architectural forms appeared, such as chapel, houyao hall, bunker building (minaret), tomb shrine, scripture hall, lecture hall, etc. Its plane layout, roof style, decoration and decoration have many Arabic characteristics and styles, which enrich the content of ancient Chinese architecture.

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