Sanjusangendo   三十三間堂

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Sanjusangendo

The Arabian statues Sanjusangendo.

The building Sanjusangendo Kyoto is 120 meters long.

The building Sanjusangendo Kyoto is 120 meters long.

Around the Sanjusangendo in Kyoto.

Around the Sanjusangendo in Kyoto.

The thousand and one statues

In the Higashiyama district is a Buddhist temple with a well-guarded secret interior. Sanjusangendo and its works of art are a celebration of the timeless and the ephemeralness of a discovery.

With a length of one hundred and twenty meters, the main building seems to extend into the horizon. The site grew large in both numbers and wealth, and was given the name "sanjûsan," the sacred Buddhist number "33," which also refers to the number of intervals between the pillars that support its wooden architecture. From the outside, there is little to be seen except the spell of sobriety. But inside visitors are plunged into another world, with an mindblowing number of perfectly aligned statues.

Built in 1164 and rebuilt exactly a century later, the refuge of Kannon, Bodhisattva of compassion, has remained intact. Sanjusangendo hosts a large statue of the goddess and one thousand other statues made of wood and covered with gold leaf. The Buddhist world is protected by twenty-eight deities, giving the scene the order and harmony of the accuracy of its immutability. It's also well protected, as photographs are completed banned inside!

The test of arrows

On the Sunday closest January 15, a crowd gathers for the ancestral Toshiya Matsuri festival, which includes archery in the temple. Young men and women who are about to enter the adult world come with their families, dressed in colorful kimonos and bringing beautiful wooden arrows. An old Celebration of the Edo period (1603-1868), the test of endurance and patience required archers they get the best possible arrows southern gallery to a target on the north side.

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