Monday, August 11, 2014

Pagoda Forest at Shaolin Temple - China

Here comes a card from a new chinese UNESCO site. Founded in the fifth century, the monastery is long famous for its association with Chinese martial arts and particularly with Shaolin Kung Fu, and can probably be considered one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries.
Shaolin Monastery and its famed Pagoda Forest were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 as part of the "Historic Monuments of Dengfeng."  in: wikipedia
The card was sent by Zihu.

The Pagoda Forest at Shaolin Temple stands at the foot of Shaoshi Mountain about half a kilometer west of Shaolin Temple in Henan Province. It is a concentration of tomb pagodas for eminent monks and abbots of the temple. A rough count shows more than 240 tomb pagodas of various sizes from the Tang, Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties (618-1911), making it the biggest pagoda forest in China.
Most of the Pagoda Forest is stone and brick structures, ranging from one to seven storeys, less than fifteen meters high -- much smaller than pagodas for Buddhist relics -- and all carry the exact year of their construction and many carvings and inscriptions. They are in a variety of styles, but are mainly multi-eaved and of pavilion-style. Their shapes are varied, including polygonal, cylindrical, vase, conical and monolithic, making the pagoda forest an exhibition of ancient pagodas, carvings and calligraphy of various dynasties. Besides the pagoda forest there are many invaluable tomb pagodas scattered around the Shaolin Temple, including the Faro Pagoda built in 689 in the Tang Dynasty, the Tongguang Pagoda constructed in 926 in the Five Dynasties, the Yugong Pagoda erected in 1324 in the Yuan Dynasty, and the Zhaogong Pagoda built in the Ming Dynasty, which are gems among ancient pagodas.
The Pagoda Forest is a rare treasure for later generations to study the history of Chinese ancient architecture, carving, calligraphy, art and religion. Besides, it is a scenic spot for tourists from home and abroad. - in: http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_travel/2003-09/24/content_36204.htm

2 comments:

Kevin Miller said...

Hi Martinha,
I love Asian countries, especially China. It’s mainly because I grew up watching movies of Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and other martial artists. I haven’t visited China yet, but I sure would love to go there when I get the chance. As of now, I can only admire and imagine the place through your postcard. I tried finding the stamps used here on an online stamp catalogue China but I can’t seem to find them since I have no clue when they were issued.

Martinha said...

Hello Kevin. This stamp was issued in 1997, it is one of the 4 stamps of the Architecture of the Dong Nationality, with the title: Wind and Rain Bridge over the River. I hope it helps you.