Huayan Monastery  華嚴寺


  • Huayan Monastery (English)
  • Huáyánsì (Pinyin)
  • Hua-yen-ssu (Wade-Giles)
  • 華嚴寺 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 华严寺 (Simplified Chinese)


山西省大同市 Shanxi
  • China
  • Province:
    • Shanxi (Pinyin)
    • 山西省 (Traditional Chinese)
    • 山西省 (Simplified Chinese)
  • County-city:
    • Datong (Pinyin)
    • 大同 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Political-subdivision:
    • (Simplified Chinese)
    • City (English)
  • Coordinates:
    • Lat. 40.0905166° Long. 113.288533°
  • Building Information

    The Huayan Monastery in Datong, Shanxi Province, was first built during the Liao dynasty, and it is the largest and most well-preserved monastery from the Liao and Jin dynasties. It covers an area of approximately 16,700 square meters. The monastery complex faces east, with all individual halls arranged in a rigorous axial organization. The earliest remaining building in the monastery, the Bhagavat Sutra Hall (Baojia jiaozangdian 薄伽教藏殿), was first constructed in the seventh year of the Liao Chongxi reign period (1038) and is said to have been rebuilt in the eighth year of the Liao Qingning reign period (1062) (中国文物地图集 山西分册, 78). 2

    Starting from the Ming dynasty, Huayan Monastery was divided into two parts Upper and Lower. The Upper Monastery houses the Mahavira Treasure Hall (Daxiong baodian 大雄寶殿) first built in the Liao Qingning reign period, as well as smaller halls including the mountain gate, and passage hall with portico (baoxia 抱夏), which was originally called the Tianwang Hall. Most of these ancillary halls were rebuilt in 2010 (Cao 2012, 41). The Lower Monastery’s location resembles a separate monastery, with a separate central axis consisting of a mountain gate, the Liao period Bhagavat Sutra Repository, and Ming and Qing Dynasty auxiliary halls and side rooms. During the initial survey by Liang Sicheng and Liu Dunzhen in the early twentieth century, another early building, the Haihui Hall 海會殿, was documented as part of the Lower Monastery. This building was destroyed in the 1950s, but has been reconstructed recently as part of the Upper Monastery. Artifacts housed in the monastery exemplify the best of Buddhist art from China’s medieval periods. (中国文物地图集 山西分册, 78; Steinhardt 1997, 124-140; Liang 2001, vol. 2, 87). 3

    Building Information

    華嚴寺位於山西大同,創立於遼代,是中國現存規模最大以及保存最完整的遼金寺院。 薄伽教藏殿,寺內現存最早建築物,始建於遼重熙七年(1038),並於遼清寧八年(1062)擴建。全寺整體佔地面積約1.67萬平方公尺。 寺址坐西朝東,佈局嚴謹(中國文物地圖集 山西分冊,78)。 2

    從明朝開始,華嚴寺分為上寺和下寺兩處寺院。 上寺有遼清寧八年始建範的大雄寶殿,清乾隆時期建造的後院山門、過殿及抱夏,最初被稱為下寺的天王殿。清光緒年間始建的地藏閣和觀音閣。 這些小規模的配殿都于2010年重建(曹 2012,41)。下寺自成單獨的院子,依中軸線建有山門、薄伽教藏殿,兩廂明清建配殿和廂房。 二十世紀初,在由梁思成和劉敦楨進行的初步勘察中,另一座名為海會殿的早期建築物被記錄為下寺的一部分。 這座建築在20 世紀 50 年代被摧毀,但於近期被重建為上寺的一部分。寺內收藏的遼金時期的彩塑、琉璃等藝術品可謂是集中了歷代佛教文物的精華(中國文物地圖集 山西分冊,78;Steinhardt 1997,124-140;梁 2001,vol. 2,87)。 3

    Dynasty Liao-Post Qing 1

    External Links

    Works Cited

    Any information without attribution has been created following the editorial guidelines.

    • 1 WILKINSON. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual, 12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 2 国家文物局. 2006. 中国文物地图集. 山西分册, 78.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 3 国家文物局. 2006. 中国文物地图集. 山西分册, 78.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; STEINHARDT. 1997. Liao Architecture, 124-140.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 梁. 2001. 梁思成全集. 第二卷, 87.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 曹. 2012-04. 大同華嚴寺的歷史變遷, 41.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

    Contains artifact(s) (2)

    Date range

    How to Cite This Entry

    YAN Yiyang 嚴一洋, “Huayan Monastery 華嚴寺 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified March 6, 2024,


    YAN Yiyang 嚴一洋, “Huayan Monastery 華嚴寺 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published March 21, 2018.

    About this Entry

    Entry Title: Huayan Monastery 華嚴寺

    Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

    • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
    • YAN Yiyang 嚴一洋, entry contributor, “Huayan Monastery 華嚴寺

    Additional Credit:

    • Editing, proofreading, data entry and revision: Tracy Miller
    • External links: SONG Qisen
    • Diacritical marks to Pinyin, adding Wade-Giles: SHEN Liyan
    • Site description and data entry: YAN Yiyang 嚴一洋

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