Sichuan Dazu Stone Sculptures, China
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Dazu Stone Sculptures
Dazu Stone Sculptures are located in Dazu County, about 160 kilometers from Chongqing City. Those sculptures are the first group of preserved monuments of historical relics listed by the State. Dazu Stone Sculptures were made at the end of Tang Dynasty; most of those figurines are related with Buddhism.
Dazu Stone Sculptures became famous at the end of Tang Dynasty (618 ~ 907A.D.). During Song Dynasty (960 ~ 1279A.D.), they attracted more and more believers from all over the country. Later, many stone figurines of Confucianism and Taoism had been add to the hill.
All the sculptures and figurines have their own special characteristic and most of them are more than a thousand years old. There are more than 40 large stone sculptures and 100,000 figurines in Dazu County. Because of the vast scope and exquisite workmanship, they represented the stone sculpture art of ancient China. People called them "the Palace of Chinese Religion Art" and "Eastern Stone Sculptures Bible".
The historic records shows those sculptures was made at the early year of Tang Dynasty. Large scope of sculpture production began at later Tang Dynasty. Among all the sculptures, Beishan and Baoding Hill sculptures are the famous.
Most of the Beishan Hill's sculptures concentrate in a place named "Buddha Gulf". As the representation of China Stone Sculptures, the Spirit Grotto is the best-known grotto on this hill. The sculptures inside the grottoes come in many forms, by looking closely at each sculpture visitors can still find the name of the original craftsman.
The Baoding Hill Sculptures found by a famous Buddhist monk from Song Dynasty named Zhao Zhifeng. The most wonderful sculptures on the Baoding hill are images of Guanyin Buddha, Wenshu Buddha, and Puxian Buddha.
There are also 13 large stone sculptures and more than 10,000 figurines on the hill, most of them are concentrated in Big Buddha Gulf and Small Buddha Gulf area. Among all the sculptures and figurines, the Song Dynasty's (960 ~ 1279A.D.) sculptures are the most influential. Many statures bring good moral model and real Buddhism stories for visitors to memorize about.