Xuankongsi Hanging Temple - China's Most Popular Place of Worship
History and architecture of the Hanging Temple:
Other appellations and names:Monasteryhanging / Temple orMonasteryby Xuan kong / Hanging Temple / Hanging Monastery (in Chinese:悬空寺 /xuánkong sì)
Location: near Mount Hengshan, 65 km southwest of Datong, in the Xian Administrative District of Hunyuan (浑源 县 /Húnyuán Xiàn),Shanxi Province (China).
According to some historians, the Hanging Temple was built by a monk named Liao Ran during the time of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534). Some history books mention the year 491.
The hanging monastery was later renovated during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
The temple iscompoundof 40 hallrelatedby bridges and walkways
Composed of 40 rooms linked together by bridges, stairs and suspended and "floating" corridors
The main foundations of the Temple are embedded in the bed of rock of the cliff by means of beams positioned horizontally. Other additional foundations have been added through thin beams positioned vertically, for aesthetic purposes, to give an even greater impression of suspension
Cults: The Buddhist, Taoist and Confucianist cults are all represented there
SanJiao Hall (or Hall of the 3 Deities) where statues of Buddha, Confucius and Lao Tseu are grouped
Built 75m high above the ground in an isolated location to be protected from the rising waters of the river below, but also from bad weather and the sun, allowing the buildings to be better preserved. Isolated and silent, the place of construction of the hanging temple was chosen respecting a fundamental concept of Taoism: The virtue of silence
It is the only existing temple combining 3 traditional Chinese religions (Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism) which is extremely rare in Asia
There are 78 statues in bronze, terracotta and stone, which represent the deities of the 3 different religions, namely: Buddha, Lao Tse and Confucius
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Prayer wheels, a typical cultural object of Tibetan Buddhism
Photo taken from the top of the hanging temple
Bronze and stone statues inside one of the 40 halls of the temple