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The Hanging Temple of Hengshan


Hengshan is a majestic 5th century temple of fantasy-like architecture.

The hanging temple of Hengshan, built some 60 kilometers southeast of China, is one of the forgotten wonders of the world. Clinging atop a mountain cliff, Hengshan seems to defy gravity; it has forty rooms interwoven by a complicated web of hallways reminiscent of a labyrinth. It is believed that a monk named Liao Ran built the temple during the Wei Dynasty (386-584 AC), and it was later restored in 1900.

The temple was built with the technique of piercing holes on the side of the cliff; the posts that support it were then inserted in these. Curiously, three religions coexist within the temple: Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Each of the three philosophies has its own space, and there are 78 statues and multiple stone-carved figurines paying tribute to them.

As a labyrinth and a sacred space, the hanging temple of Hengshan is one of the world’s impossible wonders, one that seems to levitate over the earth in order to better accommodate so many representations of light.

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