The beauty of quadrangle courtyards美丽的四合院


疯狂英语·新阅版 2022年6期



1The quadrangle courtyard, the traditional dwell-ing of people of the Han ethnic group, has a time?honored history. A quadrangle courtyard is surrounded by houses on all four sides. The courtyard, which is spa-cious and well?arranged, and the houses of which are independent, yet connected by pathways—embodies the beauty of traditional Chinese ar-chitecture.

2Quadrangle courtyards, mainly situated in North China, date back more than 3,000 years. The earliest typical courtyard was found among the ruins of Fengchu Village, Qishan County, in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province. The compound, with two layers of court-yards, was built during the Western Zhou Dynasty.

3Kublai Khan, the founding emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, moved the dynasty's capital to Beijing in 1272, and he granted (授予) land to high officials and wealthy merchants. That resulted in the large?scale building of courtyard residences in Beijing. Hutong and quadrangle courtyards were the main architectural features in Beijing during the dynasty.

4The quadrangle courtyard is a type of secluded (隐蔽的) dwelling, seen from the out-side, with the entire building enclosed by tall walls. The courtyard faces south, with the en-trance gate at the southeastern corner. A small quadrangle courtyard has only one court-yard, while a large compound has two or more courtyards, depending on the wealth and so-cial status of the household.

5The quadrangle courtyard is recognized as a masterpiece of traditional Chinese dwell-ings. A typical Beijing quadrangle courtyard reflects both utility and aesthetics in its de-sign and construction. It is constructed with bricks and timber (木材), with careful de-signs. The indigo bricks, grey tiles and vermilion?painted gate, the whole color creates an atmosphere of serenity and elegance. From the gables (山墙) and eaves to the pillars and panes, the structure is ingeniously designed and decorated.

6Minor parts, such as the eave edge, roof ridge, stone?gate pier, wooden window and door and floor tiles are decorated with patterns that symbolize wealth and auspiciousness. They are carved or painted with images of wildlife, characters or figures. For example, the peony stands for wealth and rank, and the bat is recognized as a blessing, due to how it is pronounced in the Chinese language.


Ⅰ. Choose the best answers according to the text

Inference 1. What does paragraph 1 serve as in the text?78706666-FB7D-47FD-BDDD-02E0794693A7

A. A background. B. An argument.

C. A summary. D. An introduction.

Detail 2. What can we learn about quadrangle courtyards according to paragraph 2?

A. They were usually found in Southwest China.

B. They can be traced back to the Western Zhou Dynasty.

C. They enjoy a history of nearly 3,000 years.

D. They were first designed by Fengchu villagers.

Detail 3. What can we learn about a typical Beijing quadrangle courtyard in para?graph 5?

A. It is an important modern Chinese building.

B. It is often completed with wood and grey bricks.

C. It aims to create a lively and elegant environment.

D. It usually has a complicated but practical design.

Vocabulary 4. What does the underlined word “auspiciousness” mean in paragraph 6?

A. Good luck. B. Noble status.

C. Huge wealth. D. Great power.

Ⅱ. Discussion

What other traditional dwellings of various ethnic groups do you know? And what's your understanding of the relationship between dwellings and tradition?


Complete the following phrases according to the text

1. 被……包圍 be_________by

2. 中国北方__________China

3. 追溯到 date___________to

4. 超过 more__________

5. 取决于__________on

6. 社会地位 social___________

7. 被认为是 be_________as78706666-FB7D-47FD-BDDD-02E0794693A7