The Incredible Hanging Monastery of Mount Heng

Hanging templePhoto: BRUNNER Emmanuel

One of the world’s treasures – often forgotten among so many others – this incredible temple clings to a sheer cliff face 246 feet off the ground. Located near Datong, China, the Hanging Temple of Hengshan was built 1,500 years ago.

Hanging templePhoto: Gisling

An array of passages links 40 rooms and halls. The construction of the first one started by a single monk named Liao Ran. Over the centuries, others have built on his work. One of the temple’s interesting features is its combination of Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian religious elements.

HengshanPhoto: Gisling

In this image, you can see not only how some walkways were directly built into the side of the cliff, but also the way in which the builders have chiseled out narrow pathways. We’re not sure even today’s engineers would try this.

HengshanPhoto: Steve Cadman

Here’s a close-up view of this amazing temple. Imagine living all your life hanging from the side of a cliff such as this, especially during winds and storms!

Hanging templePhoto: Thigalepranav

The buildings are supported by wooden poles or crossbeams inserted into holes chiseled into the rock, as you can see from the photos. In other cases, vertical beams add extra support. Not a place for anyone afraid of heights but gorgeous to look at in snapshots!

Sources: 1, 2

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