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Global Treasures: Pule Si
Ullman, Frank - Television Director

Catalogue Number: GTR-DVD-1097
UPC: 879061006968

Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.

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 characteristics of both cultural and traditional elements of the country's regions were incorporated into art and architecture. 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, which 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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