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215.0 km Northwest
Thu, 11/08/2012 - 07:00
Nominated one of the world’s 10 most dangerous architectures, the Hanging Temple in China is considered one great cultural achievement combining an extraordinary location with a unique mechanical theory and a harmonic mixture of three world renowned religions. The legend behind this dramatic sight appearing to defy gravity tells that the Hanging Temple was built to suppress the monsters that caused the nearby river to flood often. Nowadays, this peculiar architectural wonder represents a symbol of unity among the Chinese people achieved through the combination of the three major religions: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
The Hanging Temple Xuankong Si is situated near the sacred Dacist Mountain, Hengshan, sticking to it 75 meters above ground. It is located in the Hunyuan County, in China’s Shanxi province and it is believed to have been built more than 1500 years ago, at the end of the Northern Wei Dynasty by only one monk named Liao Ron. The hanging religious edifice covers an area of 152,5 square meters; this half construction half excavation building containing 40 well balanced chambers connected by corridors, bridges and boardwalks. The major construction weighting at least 10 tones follows a unique mechanical theory regarding the framework; the crossbeams were half inserted into the rock as the foundation. Xuankong Si does not have a square shape like most Asian temples but it incorporates all the traditional structures: main gate, bell and drum towers, roof with ridges.
The material used to build this temple is strictly wood and the holy construction is divided into three main sections, each honoring a certain religion. The Sanguan Hall represents the main building for Taoism, Shansheng Hall which enshrines sitting Buddha statues is typical for Buddhism and Sanjiao Hall, the highest of all with a hip roof with 9 ridges it the building dedicated to Confucianism.
The worship of the three religions is mainly represented by light weight statues of Sakyamuni, Confucius, Buddha and Laatzu. With principles promoting benevolence (Buddhism), an ideal well-ordered world (Confucianism) and a retreat from the common world into nature (Taoism), the three religions coexisting together in the temple facing the abyss make this a rare holy cultural attraction.
Meditate in the heavenly-looking temple Xuankong Si, enhance your beliefs with a truly unique religious experience, and admire the spectacular views and the magnificent scenery incorporation high summits and crystal-clear waterfalls. Enter the vividly carved chambers, interpret the ancient Asian symbols and study the one of a kind mixes in mechanics and aesthetics. Immortalize the apparent vulnerability or the perfect details that give this temple an old and very enigmatic charm.
Xuankong Si translated as the Hanging Temple is one of China’s most incredible sights and one major tourist attractions. The incredible location connects this sacred construction to nature giving it certain flair and the three religions hosted here have turned it into a symbol of unity.