Meaning literally a "jar-shaped wall," in traditional Chinese fortifications, wengcheng refers to the enceinte built outside of gates in city walls. As explained in the Northern Song dynasty text the Wujing zongyao (1045), Chapter 12, City Wall Defenses (Shoucheng 守城), the shape can be square or round. The walls of the wengcheng are at the same height as, or slightly lower than, the main city walls. The battlements on wengcheng are connected to those on the main walls. There is often one gate in the wall of the wengcheng, but it does not align with the gate of the main city wall it is built to protect. The wengcheng in front of the more official gates, such as the main gate of a capital city wall, generally had separate gateways in their centers and sides. These would protect the gate of city wall from invaders, and allow inhabitants to defend from two directions: the top of the wengcheng (above the wengcheng gate) and the top of the city wall.
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- 1 曾, 武經總要（清文淵閣四庫全書本）, 12.3a.; 李, 中國土木建築百科辭典：建築, 358.; 郑, 军事大辞典, 623.; 黃, 宋代城郭的防禦設施及材料, 1-23.
- 2 ATTCAT 2018; HUANG, Defensive Structures and Construction Materials in Song City Walls, 51.
- 3 HUANG, Defensive Structures and Construction Materials in Song City Walls, 51.
- 4 GUO, A Visual Dictionary of Chinese Architecture 中國建築英漢雙解辭典, 63.
Broad Match: Fortification Elements
How to Cite This Entry
Bibliography:“ 甕城 wèngchéng.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published May 23, 2019. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000089.
About this Entry
Entry Title: 甕城 wèngchéng
Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:
- Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
- ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
- JIA Tingli 賈亭立 and BAO Lu 寶璐, entry contributors, “ 甕城 wèngchéng”
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- Initial research and revision by JIA Tingli 賈亭立 BAO Lu 寶璐
- Peer review by ATTCAT 2018
- Data entry, proofreading, and revision by Tracy Miller
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- Chinese proofreading by ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净
- Adding citations Song Qisen 松奇森
- Revising title statement by SUN Zheng 孫正
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