aml

random thoughts on architecture history theory and criticism

maps and empires

En aquel Imperio, el Arte de la Cartografía logró tal Perfección que el Mapa de una sola Provincia ocupaba toda una Ciudad, y el Mapa del Imperio, toda una Provincia. Con el tiempo, estos Mapas Desmesurados no satisficieron y los Colegios de Cartógrafos levantaron un Mapa del Imperio, que tenía el Tamaño del Imperio y coincidía puntualmente con él. Menos Adictas al Estudio de la Cartografía, las Generaciones Siguientes entendieron que ese dilatado Mapa era Inútil y no sin Impiedad lo entregaron a las Inclemencias del Sol y los Inviernos. En los Desiertos del Oeste perduran despedazadas Ruinas del Mapa, habitadas por Animales y por Mendigos; en todo el País no hay otra reliquia de las Disciplinas Geográficas.
Suárez Miranda: Viajes de varones prudentes,
libro cuarto, cap. XLV, Lérida, 1658.

Jorge Luis Borges

[read it in english here]

compare:

“Chendge was located at a remote Inner Mongolian oasis with lakes, green hills, and a multitude of small rivers at the foot of the yanshan mountains. (…) Qianlong created about ten new temples in the surrounding areas (…).

These temples, dedicated to a range of Confusian and Buddhist deities drawn from various parts of the empire, formed a conceptual and religious-political arc around the palace. All these temples can be seen from the main hill north of the palace, so that they form a single scenographic whole. A self-conscious visual ensemble, Chengde was a spectacle. With the Han Chinese palace complex with its lake, gardens, and hills at its center and the Buddhist temples in an arc around it, Chengde was a veritable microcosm of the Qing empire, a map of the land.

But Chengde was more than a map of the empire. It was also an ordering of that map according to a Buddhist mandala.”

Jarzombek, Prakash, Ching, A Global History of Architecture (Hoboken: Wiley 2007), 587.

[googlemap Chengde!!]

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Filed under: ., borges, jarzombek, maps,

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