By hanging it on the side of the dry cliff, above the valley floor, the structure was able to avoid damp and rot, not to mention flooding and runoff erosion. And lastly, because it is sandwiched between two peaks, “a bay-shaped valley is formed which acts as a haven and reduces wind erosion.”
A monastery by nature is often a secluded community of monks living under religious vows. They often served as places where travelers could stay. This was especially true in the Middle Ages as there were very few inns during that time. Monks were known to also helped to feed the poor, take care of the sick, and provided education to boys in the local community.
“Because religion was prevalent at that time, and people were reluctant to stop at places that worshipped a different religion, the Hanging Monastery enshrined China’s three major religions so that more travelers could stay there.”
As David Russel Schilling wrote, “Perhaps most amazing is that the monastery has withstood the test of time, withstanding wind, rain, and storms as well as the often violent changes from one Chinese dynasty to another.”
I’m not sure this would be the place for me to live in seclusion. At least, like I said, not until I deal with my acrophobia. It’s just a little too close to heaven for my comfort. And given my inability to walk and chew gum, it’s also a little too far from the ground.
Fun Facts: At 246 feet off the ground, this structure is higher than it is long.
Schilling, David Russel. Spiritual Power of China’s 1500-year-old Hanging Monastery. (January 13, 2017).
Song, Candice. The Hanging Monastery, Datong —3 Faiths, 1,500 years old! (October 2, 2021)
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”