By Philippe Foret
The imperial place of abode of Chengde was once equipped via strong and impressive Manchu emperors among 1703 and 1780 within the mountains of Jehol. the location, that is on UNESCOs global background record, combines the biggest classical gardens in China with a distinct sequence of grand monasteries within the Sino-Tibetan type. Mapping Chengde, the 1st scholarly ebook in English at the Manchu summer season capital, finds how this not going architectural and panorama company got here to aid forge a dynastys multicultural identification and concretize its claims of political legitimacy. utilizing either visible and textual fabrics, the writer explores the hidden dimensions of panorama, exhibiting how geographical mind's eye formed the aesthetics of Qing courtroom tradition whereas offering a brand new interpretation of the psychological universe that conceived one of many worlds such a lot amazing examples of imperial structure.
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Extra resources for Mapping Chengde: The Qing Landscape Enterprise
He instead fell asleep while reading Marco Polo’s narrative and saw in his dream Khubilai’s summer residence. His 1797 description of the Yuan capital evoked Lord Macartney’s embassy reports on the Qing residences of Beijing and Chengde as well as the historical continuity between the Mongol, Manchu, and Chinese architectural enterprises. 4 In this respect, the construction of the austere gray palaces and the more flamboyant purple temples of Chengde would have been a Buddhist undertaking subordinate to the Confucianist “Great Enterprise” of the Qing dynasty in China and at the same time a Confucianist undertaking subordinate to the Buddhist “Great Enterprise” of the Qing dynasty in Central Asia.
By calling Chengde an upper ying, the emperor implied moreover that lower and middle ying camps existed further down the Wulie [Rehe] river, as if the hill station was a camp undistinguishable from other camps. The true political and architectural significances of Chengde are thus not indicated by the name granted by Kangxi to the hill station. Kangxi named Chengde “Rehe,” but the city of Rehe was renamed “Chengde” by Yongzheng in 1733 and renamed again “Rehe” by Qianlong in 1742. It is only after 1778 that the name Chengde became constantly used in Chinese records.
The spatial continuum from Beijing to Chengde and Mulan received such an emphasis from the building of the Emperor’s Road in Jehol that the frontier continuum was eclipsed. This internal solidarity, the Manchurian-Jehol continuum, existed before the building of the Qing seasonal capital. The solidarity of the periphery became apparent again after the dynasty abandoned the site and ceased sponsoring a costly enterprise that extended from Beijing into Jehol, returning Jehol to the frontier continuum of which it had been a part.