Shanhua Monastery is Located in the west of Yongtai Street in Datong City, Shanhua Monastery was built in the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D.-907 A.D.). The monastery was very large in the Yuan Dynasty (1,206 A.D.-1,368 A.D.) in scale, and there were 40,000 people worshipping here under the imperial order according to history records at that time. It was renamed by Shanhua Monastery in the Ming Dynasty (1,368- A.D.-1,644 A.D.) after several renovations, which also functioned as a site for the officials to learn the rules of the traditional etiquettes.
Shanhua Monastery covers an area of 20,000 square meters in total, with the main architectures facing south along the central axis. There are the Entrance Gate, Monastery and the Grand Hall built in the Liao Dynasty (907 A.D.-1,125 A.D.) in the monastery; in the rear of the monastery are affiliated halls in each side: Buddisattva Pavilion in the east and Samantabhadra Pavilion in the west. The whole monastery is well distributed with symmetry.
In Grand Hall, there are 5 statues of the clayed Buddha enshrined in the hall with stately look and graceful postures, sitting on the lotus-shaped seats which are inlaid with decorations such as lotus petals and beads. There are the statues of 24 Gandharvas in each side with 2.5 meters high, which are very vivid in postures and shapes and you can even tell their status and genders as well as their ages through their appearance. There are murals on the west and south walls with the Buddhism stories as contents. Outside the hall are the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower in each side.
In The Hall of the Holy Trinity, there are three statues of Buddha in the hall: Buddha Sakyamuni in the middle, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva on the right and Manjusri Bodhisattva on the left. There are four steles in the hall, which is very important for researching on the history of the monastery.
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Shanhua Monastery Photos