Archeology Culture

Rebirth Of Medieval Wonder – The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing

Originally constructed in 1412, the tower has been rebuilt next to its original location by the Yangtze River together with a museum highlighting its cultural treasure. The construction was destroyed around 150 years ago by the rebels and now has been finally brought to life. Originally, the Yongle Emperor was the one to order a tower’s construction in the old capital of Nanjing. The work was done after 17 years. The temple was built with glazed, white porcelain bricks, with a height of 78 meters.

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The modern version of Nanjing tower was found by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, who also built a futuristic Buddhist themed museum, which opened last year to the public. The modern version is more known as the Porcelain Tower Heritage Park. You may find the sixth century and earth colored ruins along with modern palatial designs, among which there is a huge floating 3 D Buddha head crafted from tiny light dots. The whole visual show is supported by the background music – “Lord of the Rings” soundtrack.

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Even though the Porcelain Tower ruins have a century long history, they were open for excavation only in 2007. And in 2008, archaeologists found a number of holy and treasured relics, among which the reliquary takes a special place. It is believed that remains of Buddha were enshrined exactly here. They were found in the so called “millennium-old underground palace”, and are being protected by the new built tower.

 Thanks to generosity of Wang Jianlin, who earned his fortune as a chairman of China’s property developer Dalian Wanda Group, the Porcelain Tower has been brought back to life. He donated around 1 billion dollar to the government specially for reconstruction of the site.

The modern tower is done with steel beams and has spectacular views over the city. Like the original tower, the pagoda has nine stories while each of them is a separate viewing platform, easy accessible by the elevator or staircase.

You can view the Qinhuai and Yangtze Rivers and the City Wall from the top.

In spite of being an ancient site, modern technologies couldn’t pass by this tower. Therefore visitors can use smartphones to scan QR codes to get more information about the site. There is also a room with thousands of colorful light bulbs, which are supposed to represent the Buddhist concept of light and “sarira”.

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If there were no decorative Buddha statues, the visitors might have thought that they walked into totally empty 90-s inspired dancing floor.

All the ruins are carefully preserved in their original location, but are often layered with interior designs and additions like animated illustrations projected onto wall art.

source: edition.cnn

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