In December 2010, the world-renowned magazine Time magazine collected the world's most dangerous and seemingly "precarious" buildings, and the Hanging Temple in Shanxi was among them.
In the world's top ten most dangerous buildings published by Time magazine, the Hanging Temple and Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa and other internationally renowned buildings appear together, instantly, causing a lot of attention at home and abroad.
Hanging Temple, as its name suggests, is a temple built halfway up a mountain, and from a distance it looks like it is hanging on a cliff face.
However, in addition to the peculiar architectural features of the Hanging Temple, the staff discovered during the maintenance of the Hanging Temple that there were expansion screws in the Hanging Temple.
You know that in those days, metal tools simply have not yet appeared, how on earth this is the case? And what is the secret of the Hanging Temple? Today the author will take you to understand.
01 The temple hanging in the air
The Hanging Temple, located at the foot of Mount Heng in the southeastern suburb of Hunyuan County, Datong City, Shanxi Province, China, is a wonder of the world, and those who have been to the site know it well.
In the early years, the famous poet Li Bai also came to visit this place, and after seeing the real appearance of the Hanging Temple, he was so shocked by the strange scenery of the Temple that he gladly wrote down the word "spectacular" on the rock wall.
After he stopped writing, Li Bai felt that these two words were not enough to express his excitement at the moment, so he added a little more to the spectacular word "magnificent".
Today, Li Bai's inscriptions are also preserved intact at the foot of the temple, which adds to the charm of the Hanging Temple.
What is so special about the Hanging Temple? What is it that makes Li Bai, who has seen so much and traveled so much, praise it so much?
Hanging Temple is also called "Xuankong Pavilion", the reason for this name, perhaps and Hanging Temple is located in the geographical location has a close relationship.
Looking from the foot of the mountain, the Hanging Temple is like hanging on a cliff face, standing on a cliff face more than sixty meters above the ground.
Even in the present time, there is a great difficulty in choosing the site for such a building, let alone in the time when all kinds of apparatus and conditions were relatively backward.
I have to say, through the continuous understanding of the people before us, we can not help but be impressed by the wisdom of the ancients, condensing the crystallization of their wisdom time and time again shocked us.
Usually, in order to the continuation of the incense, the construction of the temple will generally choose a more convenient place of transportation, even if the winding path, but not to build in such a remote cliff.
Above the entire pavilion of the Hanging Temple is a huge rock, below it is a turbulent river, and the height of the Hanging Temple is as high as a thirty-story building.
Looking down from the Hanging Temple will give you a feeling of vertigo, and if you are not careful, you might be able to fall into the river and be pulverized.
As a tourist is still so dangerous, let alone for the workers who built it at that time, from cutting the wall to transporting timber, you can imagine how much hardship and danger they went through.
However, why exactly to ask for trouble, the hanging temple built in mid-air on the cliff, it is from the history of the construction of the hanging temple.
02 Legend of ghosts and gods, construction background
Hanging Temple was built in the late Northern Wei Dynasty, more than 1,500 years from now, for the construction of the Hanging Temple, in many historical sources are not mentioned too much.
When archaeologists consulted local materials, they learned that there were some legends in the vicinity of Cuipingfeng Mountain in the early years, and based on this, the general background of the construction of the Hanging Temple was inferred.
According to legend, during the Northern Wei Dynasty, every rainy season, it would be cloudy and rainy near Cuiping Mountain, which had a great impact on the local residents.
Because it is located in the mountains, the rain constantly also led to the outbreak of floods, not only directly cut off the local people and the outside world communication.
In the flooding, so that the local residents planted crops are all destroyed, over time, this situation will make the local people very headache, but ultimately failed to come up with a solution.
Later, I do not know when, in the local began to circulate some cattle ghosts and snake gods of the legend, some people believe that the local annual flooding, it is likely that the ghosts and gods behind the trouble.
As the saying goes, people's words can be feared, with a rumor, a hundred, gradually, this legend without the slightest theoretical basis has become a recognized fact.
So, the villagers will raise money to invite a Taoist priest with a deeper practice to exorcise the evil, the Taoist priest said after viewing the local situation, "To exorcise the evil, here to build a temple."
But Cuiping Mountain's mountainous terrain is dangerous, which has the conditions for building a temple, is at a loss, the Taoist master for the crowd to point out the mystery.
The Taoist priest said that there was a "spiritual place" suitable for building a temple on a cliff on the Cuiping Peak, and according to the Taoist priest's instructions, his disciples began to make arrangements for the construction of the temple.
Soon after, the elderly Taoist chief died, on his deathbed, the Taoist chief was also always mindful of the construction of the temple, he instructed: "Must be built to extend the effect of the xiao guest, under the arrogant float."
Due to the high difficulty factor of temple construction, the construction of the Hanging Temple was finally completed fifty years after the death of the Taoist Master.
03 Significant, one of the best in the world
The entire temple takes the layout of "one courtyard and two buildings", with an overall length of thirty-two meters and a large number of pavilions and halls, forty in total.
And each pavilion and temple are connected with wooden stacks, closely connected around, plus with the support of the rock, so that the upper and lower beams form a more special frame structure.
This high-altitude wooden cliff building is also the earliest surviving and most complete ancient building in China, which has greatly increased the earthquake resistance of the temple.
Not only that, according to the survey, the experts found that all the Buddha statues in the Hanging Temple are made by using the stripped yarn Buddha statues, which can greatly reduce the weight of the Buddha statues.
Such an advanced construction method was really rare at that time, so you can also see that the craftsmen spent a lot of effort in order to build the Hanging Temple.
And as descendants, we feel even more deeply when we climb the Hanging Temple. In addition to the complete layout of the exquisite temple built between the cliffs, there are two parts of the temple hanging above the cliff wall.
The wooden walkway connecting the two temples seems to float directly in the air, and when visitors stand on top of this wooden walkway, in which they look down, they will unconsciously have their hearts racing.
At the same time, the bravery and fearlessness of contemporary craftsmen can be felt more intimately and admirably.
In addition, the Hanging Temple is the only ancient building in China that truly unites the three religions of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, and was listed as a national key cultural relics protection unit by the State Council as early as 1982.
It is also called the "first scenic spot" among the 18 scenic spots in Hengshan, and the Hanging Temple can be called one of the best buildings in the world, both in terms of the thrill of the site and the ingenuity of the structure.
Even now, the peculiar ancient building that combines labor, aesthetics, religion and so on into one still attracts many scholars from home and abroad to explore.
An Italian scholar once said that the Hanging Temple well represents the great achievements of the Chinese nation and is the embodiment of the great crystallization of wisdom of the Chinese sons and daughters.
Not only that, in the south building of the Hanging Temple, there are three clay statues, which are also the largest in size in the Hanging Temple. In the middle of the north building is the Buddha statue of Sakyamuni.
On its left is Confucius, on its right is Laozi, these Buddha statues gathered together, does not it just embody the spirit of tolerance of the sea!
For an ancient building of such cultural importance, it is natural for China to send experts to regularly maintain and reconstruct it to ensure that the Hanging Temple can permanently stand on the cliff.
Because the whole of the Hanging Temple uses the mortise and tenon structure of wooden room beams, although under the careful design, it makes the load-bearing capacity of each piece of wood is enhanced.
But after all, the Hanging Temple has lasted for a thousand years, and under the corrosion of wind and rain, it is difficult to ensure that the wooden structure has not loosened, so, in order to better continue the survival life of the temple, experts decided to replace the cross-file of the corridor.
However, when taking out these cross files, experts discovered the "black technology" hidden in the hanging temple.
04 Surprise "black technology"
Located in the west corridor of the transverse gear, the most serious degree of wear, so the experts will first start from this place, ready to take out one of the transverse gear, and then replaced with a new system transverse gear.
However, the workers exhausted all means, but never could take the inside of the transverse gear, according to reason, this is not supposed to.
Even several workers together, have not been able to move the cross-file a point, if one of the cross-file can not be removed, then with the passage of time, once the cross-file is corroded, the entire temple will be in jeopardy.
The experts could not stand by and watch the great ancient building being swallowed up little by little, so after some deliberation, the experts decided to saw off the transom.
However, even when the workers took the tool saw, they were not able to easily cut the cross-file, and even to cut a cross-file, a whole three saw blades were consumed.
After an hour of work, the crosspiece was finally sawed, but this is only the exposed crosspiece, the most difficult factor is also in the stone of the small section.
The end of the horizontal wood inlaid in the stone is not as smooth as the other parts of the horizontal wood, the shape is also very special, when the construction of the time, the craftsmen should have made special modifications.
In the horizontal wood with a lot of seemingly axe cut out of the barbed denticles, not only that, in the cracks there are several wedges.
After all the hard work, after the experts finally took out the wedges, they were surprised to find that these wedges were not ordinary wedges, and their structure was very similar to the expansion screws we have today.
Those who are familiar with expansion screws know that they are used by many master workers today to fix air conditioners and water heaters, because expansion screws have a certain wedge-shaped slope.
It is this slope that allows the expansion screw to expand to strengthen the fixing effect, and the expansion screw is used in the cross timber is the same principle.
Before inserting the expansion screws into the cavern, the crosspiece needs to be propped up with a wedge, and then you can make those barbs on the surface of the crosspiece fit into the various grooves of the rock crest.
The deeper the wedge is placed, the tighter the horizontal wood is stuck to the rock, which makes the outside wood correspondingly strong.
It is also because of this performance of the expansion screws, making the workers in taking the expansion screws, a lot of effort.
Such clever means, in that era, is not a veritable black technology.
At that time, naturally, the term expansion screw did not appear, and at that time metal tools had not been invented, and the wedges found by experts were made of wood.
Despite this, the principle of its use is exactly the same as that of expansion screws, with similarities and differences.
Not only that, even if the outside of the horizontal wood suffered damage. Under the protection of expansion screws, the inside part of the rock can still be intact.
Needless to say, as the exploration of the Hanging Temple continues, people's admiration for their ancestors grows stronger.
Although it stands on a cliff, the Hanging Temple is not a building that can only be seen from afar, the ancient craftsmen spent even more effort to build it.
It was only through the efforts of countless people that such a peculiar hanging temple was finally able to withstand the baptism of time for thousands of years and emerge intact in our eyes.
Such a convergence of the sweat and energy of our forefathers, the results of the crystallization of the wisdom of our ancestors, is naturally the pride of the children of China, is also the treasure of our country.
And as a member of the Chinese children, without the support of expertise, although we are not able to go to the site to actually do something.
Yet we can do what we can to promote it and protect it from destruction.
China.com The Hanging Temple in Shanxi
China.com The Hanging Wonder: Located at the foot of Mount Heng, on the cliff of West Rock within the Golden Dragon Gorge, five kilometers south of the Hanging City of Hunyuan
Phoenix.com The Hanging Temple in Hengshan, Shanxi Province: A building hanging in the sky