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The pavilions of this monastery breathtakingly cling to a sheer cliff, as if they are hanging. There is no other travel site quite like it.
tips & insights
The pavilion on the right in the photo is the equivalent of 15 stories above the ground.
The monastery dates back over 1400 years to the Northern Wei Dynasty. However, most of what you see today are reconstructions made during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties.
The pavilions are constructed almost entirely of wood (except for the decorative multi-hued roof tiles).
The pavilions "hang" partially because long timber poles support them from underneath (see photo). However, the greatest structural support comes from unseen rock ledges upon which parts of the pavilions sit - and from the cantilevered wooden beams deeply imbedded into the cliff.
Narrow, thin railed skyways connect the pavilions.
The monks expanded the size of the pavilions by digging caves in the cliff behind them.