Longmen Monastery, Mahāvīra Treasure Hall  龍門寺大雄寶殿



  • Mahāvīra Treasure Hall (English)
  • 大雄寶殿 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 大雄宝殿 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Dàxióngbǎodiàn (Pinyin)
  • Ta-hsiung-pao-tien (Wade-Giles)
  • Longmensi Daxiongbaodian (English)
  • 龍門寺大雄宝殿 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 龙门寺大雄宝殿 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Daxiongbaodian


  • Coordinates:
    • Lat. 36.38750833° Long. 113.620255°
  • Building Information

    The main hall of Longmen Monastery is the Mahavira Treasure Hall. According to inscriptions on the front eaves columns, the Mahavira Hall was rebuilt in the fifth year of the Northern Song Shaosheng reign period (1098), and had major renovations in the fifth to twelfth years of the Ming Wanli reign period (1577-1584), the ninth to tenth years of the Qing Shunzhi reign period (1652-1653), and the third year of the Qing Tongzhi reign period (1864). The foundation of the hall is made of brick and the structure is three-by-three bays. It has a square plan and a single-eaves hip-gable roof (xieshanding 歇山頂). Although its size is relatively small compared to other buildings of the period, it is still within the range for image halls of smaller monasteries in this area (Miller 2011, 182). The roof ridge-figures are made of yellow and green glazed ceramic tile, and their shapes and technique are all consistent with Ming-style (Guojia wenwuju 2006, 305). The transverse structure of the building spans six rafters from front to back with a four-rafter beam (sichuanfu 四椽栿) abutting a rufu (乳栿) tiebeam supported by three columns. On top of the three columns, there are 5-puzuo (鋪作) bracket sets (dougong 斗拱) with a single slanted arm (xia‘ang 下昂) and a single perpendicular bracket arm (huagong 華栱). There are also bracket sets carved in relief (yinke dougong 隐刻斗拱) between the columns. Four panels of six-grid lattice partition doors (六抹格扇門) are hung on the central bay of both front and back facades, and the two side bays both hold windows. The interior of the north (back) and east and west gable-end walls are decorated with 34.10 square meters of deeply colored Buddhist narrative murals. Based on the stele inscription and the style of the wall paintings, the mural on the west wall should have been painted in the Wanli reign period (1573-1620) and the mural on the east wall might have been painted during the renovation in the tenth year of the Shunzhi reign period (1653) (Song Wenqiang 2010, 55). 1

    Date 1098
    Dynasty Northern Song 960 - 1127 1


      Song dynasty--eleventh century typical of Shangdang

    Works Cited

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

    • 1 国家文物局. 2006. 中国文物地图集. 山西分册, II:304-305;32-C3-2.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; MILLER. 2011. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed: Local Style in the Architecture of Tenth Century China, 179-184.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; STEINHARDT. 2019. Chinese architecture: a historyLink to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 宋. 2010. 平顺龙门寺历史沿革考, 52-57.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 2 WILKINSON. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual, 12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

    Contained in Place

    How to Cite This Entry

    CHEN Zhuo 陈卓 et al., “Longmen Monastery, Mahāvīra Treasure Hall 龍門寺大雄寶殿 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified February 25, 2022, https://architecturasinica.org/place/000208.


    CHEN Zhuo 陈卓 et al., “Longmen Monastery, Mahāvīra Treasure Hall 龍門寺大雄寶殿 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published March 21, 2018. https://architecturasinica.org/place/000208.

    About this Entry

    Entry Title: Longmen Monastery, Mahāvīra Treasure Hall 龍門寺大雄寶殿

    Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

    • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
    • CHEN Zhuo 陈卓 and Tracy Miller, entry contributors, “Longmen Monastery, Mahāvīra Treasure Hall 龍門寺大雄寶殿

    Additional Credit:

    • Proof correction and revision by Tracy Miller
    • Adding citations Song Qisen
    • Editing, data entry, adding images, and adding citations CHEN Zhuo 陈卓

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