Hanging Temple of Hengshan

Hanging Temple of Hengshan

Mount Heng, Shanxi (China)

Located in Hunyuan County, Datong, Shanxi Province. Hanging Temple (also called Hanging Monastery or Xuankong Si) is famous for its precipitous location, and it’s the only existing temple which is dedicated to three religions: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. It is quite rare to see the saints of the three religions being enshrined in one temple. It is said that this is also part of the reason this temple can survive the unpredictability of dynasties in the history of China.

Two hundred and forty-six feet above ground, supported by a few thin wooden stilts driven into the cliff face, the Hanging Temple of Mount Heng dangles in apparent defiance of gravity. Built into the rock during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534 CE), the 40-room temple, connected by a dizzying maze of passageways, has survived the effects of wind, sun, and snow due to its protected position.

Unusually, the temple caters to not one but three religions—elements of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are evident in its 78 statues and carvings.

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