Zhenguo Monastery, 10,000 Buddhas Hall  鎮國寺萬佛殿



  • 10,000 Buddhas Hall (English)
  • 萬佛殿 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 万佛殿 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Wànfódiàn (Pinyin)
  • Wan-fo-tien (Wade-Giles)
  • Zhenguosi Wanfodian (English)
  • 镇國寺萬佛殿 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 镇国寺万佛殿 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Wanfodian


  • Coordinates:
    • Lat. 37.25298611° Long. 112.248006°
  • Site Information

    Ten-thousand Buddhas Hall (Wanfodian)is the main hall of Zhenguo Monastery. It is one of China’s three remaining wooden structures from the Five Dynasties Period. The building is three-bays wide and six-rafters deep with a single eaves hip-gable roof. The hall layout is approximately square measuring 11.57 by 10.77 meters at the base, supported by 12 columns with no interior columns.4

    The roof is supported by both column-top and intercolumnar bracket sets. The intercolumnar sets extend out of the wall plane as far as the luohanfang. The outer eaves bracket sets have a total height of 1.85 meters.3

    The column-top bracket sets have seven layers with two perpendicular bracket arms (huagong 華栱) and two descending ang (xia’ang 下昂). The intercolumnar bracket sets have five layers and two perpendicular bracket arms with touxinzao.2

    The columns slope slightly towards the center of the building (cejiao 側角) and have smaller diameters close to the top (juansha 卷殺) with a height and diameter ratio of 7.5:1.3

    The roof of the hall adopts an open frame structure. The lowest tie beam is a six-rafter beam joined by a rough-finished six-rafter beam on top. On top of the rough-finished six-rafter beam is a four-rafter beam supported by lingong. Directly above the linggong, the pingliang is supported by the camel’s hump braces. A short post (shuzhu 蜀柱) in the middle of the pingliang supports the roof pole. The shuzhu is stabilized with an inverted V-shape chashou (叉手), and the beams are supported by other side braces.3

    The altar occupies half of the area of the hall with a “凹” shape on the floor plan. There are eleven sculptures on the altar, all dated to the Northern Han’s Tianhui Period (957-973). Shakyamuni Buddha sits with Padmasana on a Sumeru-shaped platform in the center, his hands in the dharmachakra-mudrā. The face is plump with trimmed eyebrows and thin eyes. The two disciples Ananda and Mahakasyapa and the four bodhisattvas stand on the two sides of the Buddha. All the sculptures are painted with life-like color and their clothing is reminiscent of Tang style.2

    Date 963
    Dynasty Later Han 947 - 950 1


      continuation of style at Foguangsi into 10th cen.

    Works Cited

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

    • 1 WILKINSON. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual, 12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 2 788-789., 788-789.
    • 3 刘. JAN, 2012. 平遥镇国寺万佛殿大木结构测量数据解读, 101-103.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 4 MILLER. 2000. Constructing religion: Song architecture and the Jinci temple complex, 83-85.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 5 STEINHARDT. 2019. Chinese architecture: a history, 126-127.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

    Contained in Place

    How to Cite This Entry

    Zhenguo Monastery, 10,000 Buddhas Hall 鎮國寺萬佛殿 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified December 15, 2021, https://architecturasinica.org/place/000278.


    Zhenguo Monastery, 10,000 Buddhas Hall 鎮國寺萬佛殿 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published March 21, 2018. https://architecturasinica.org/place/000278.

    About this Entry

    Entry Title: Zhenguo Monastery, 10,000 Buddhas Hall 鎮國寺萬佛殿

    Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

    • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica

    Additional Credit:

    • Initial research 2021 by WANG Beining 王贝宁
    • Editing and proof correction Tracy Miller
    • adding external links SUN Zheng

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    Except otherwise noted, this page is © 2018.

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