The Hanging Temple Xuan Kong Si – Datong (China)

In China’s Shanxi Province around 500km (300 miles) south west of Beijing is located The Hanging Temple (named Xuan Kong Si). This amazing structure is one of the most precarious structures in the world. Long wooden beams extend from the outer edge of the temple buildings down to holes chiseled into the massive rock face.

The construction appears to be so fragile that it only needs one good kick to send the entire temple complex tumbling 75 meters down to the valley below.

The temple complex attached to the steep rock face.

The temple complex attached to the steep rock face.

But history reveals another story. The Hanging Temple has managed to cling to its rock face for over 1,400 years now.

Today’s engineers from around the world came to this temple to study the extraordinary Hanging Temple’s architectural properties. The overall conclusion is: crossbeams inserted into the rock, both at the building’s base and roof, are critical to keep the Hanging Temple hanging. The way it was designed, the massive rock mountain holds the temple into it’s quite firm place.

The various buildings seen from inside the complex of The Hanging Temple.

The temple’s unlikely location was chosen by its Taoist builders for one main reason: the quiet location hich is ideal to meditate and searching the path to God.

The Taoist priest were (and, to some extent, still are) don’t want the ordinary hustle of life interfering with their religious quest. Unfortunately for them the temple is now a busy tourist attraction.

Xuan Kong Si (The Hanging Temple).

The Buddha statue inside the sanctuary of The Hanging Temple.

The Buddha statue inside the sanctuary of The Hanging Temple.

The entrance to the temple complex.

The entrance to the temple complex.

The small wooden paths inside the temple.

The small wooden paths inside the temple.

One of the many fragile poles sustaining the complex to prevent it from falling into the depth of the valley below.

One of the many fragile poles sustaining the complex to prevent it from falling into the depth of the valley below.

Source:

Chinaculture.org

Related post:

Taktsang Monastery ‘The Tigers Nest’, legendary Buddhist Caves



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  3 comments for “The Hanging Temple Xuan Kong Si – Datong (China)

  1. March 15, 2010 at 16:08

    I am sooo envious.
    This must be one heck of a sight to see!
    Awesome!

  2. Amy
    March 24, 2010 at 03:01

    This is an amazing feat. It makes you wonder how they got all the materials up there to make it. It reminds me of a program I watched on a series of tombs in a high cliff in another section of China. As far as the scientists can figure they had used an intricate set of pulls to get the body and offerings to the tombs.

    Thanks so much for all you comments. I always like reading them.
    Big Hug, Amy

  3. Les
    April 15, 2012 at 12:04

    It would be an amazing place to visit, I just wouldn’t want to think about what was holding everything in place.

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