Most Sacred mountains Xuankong Si

Xuankong Most Sacred mountains in China and Mt. Heng located in Shanxi province is one of them. Close to its base and overlooking the wooded Golden Dragon River, is Xuankong Si, sometimes written as Xuan Kong Si, which literally translates as the Monastery in Mid Air. It is more often called the Hanging Monastery. Built in 491AD it still clings to the side of the cliff using engineering techniques that are still of significant interest to modern architects. Horizontal shafts were first cut into the side of the mountain to serve as the anchor points. Strong lengths of hard wood cut from single trees were then driven into the holes. The depth of the holes and the hardness of the rock provided a strong base. There are sufficient supports to ensure that if the crossbeams ever need to be replaced then one can be removed at a time without impacting on the structural integrity of the monastery. It may be the first recorded instance of deliberate over engineering.
The reason Xuankong Si was built so high above the ground may be one of practicality – defense against marauders or protection from floods.
The more romantic version is that the Monks were dedicated to silence and so high above the ground they might achieve this ideal. It is said that they were forbidden to hear the barking of dog, the wailing of a child or even the sound of a rooster crowing as it welcomed the dawn.

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