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Notes on the Geography of China: Foguang Temple: Photo 17

world pictures China: Foguang Temple

We step in the gate and are in a courtyard. There's a fine old building to our left, while Foguang sits straight ahead, on a terrace cut into the hillside. Again, Liang called the building simply the "oldest wooden structure existing in China." Steinhardt describes it as "the unique grand hall, visually and according to its structural details, among extant Tang buildings." She writes, "Standing today are no more than six Tang wooden halls. One of them, Foguang Monastery East Hall, was of significantly higher status than the others." Across East Asia, the chief competition comes from the slightly older Kondo of the Toshodaiji monastery in Nara, built by a Chinese monk.

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