Tibet Samye Monastery, China

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Samye Monastery

The Samye Monastery is the first monastery in Tibet, situated in Zhanang Prefecture in Tibet.

Due to its long history, it possesses a very high status among the monasteries in Tibet, its construction arts and the Tibetan Buddhism cultural relics are all worth appreciating and attract a large number of visitors to go to appreciate.

The Samye Monastery also called " the Samyuan Monastery" or "the Samyi Monastery". Built in the 14th Year of Dali in Tang Dynasty (in 799), it is the first real monastery with Buddha, dharma, and monks completely.

It suffered many fires, but it still keeps its grand appearance, we can see the monks' and abbots' efforts from it. The whole layout designed according to Buddhist shrines for pray and it has many standing hall towers, high buildings, and grand scale. The perimeter of the fencing wall inside the monastery is 1,008 meters with 1,008 little Buddha towers standing on it.

With three layers, the main hall of the Samye Monastery called "Wuce Hall"; it is high, wide, and splendid, having unique style. The construction style first floor is the Tibetan, middle is the Han, and the third is the Indian.

These three different kinds of styles are melting together in one hall, so we can know the meaning of building this monastery at that time. From top to bottom, the structure means Buddhism originated India, then it was handed into China and melted Confucian and Taoism, and at last, it belongs to the Han people's culture.

Integrated above features, it is developing into the unique Buddhism in Tibet. This alone makes the Samye monastery different from the monasteries in Tibet and everywhere in China.

Due to the collecting style of Indian, Han and Tibetan Buddhism, the decorations in each layer appears different style. Gathering cultural relics and works of three kinds of Buddhism cultures such as exquisite mural paintings, statues, woodcarvings, and stone carvings, some cultural relics are rare collections.

For example, the stone tablet and that ancient clock carved Tibetan inside the monastery are things that the Tibetan King Chisongdezan and imperial concubines and the prince Sanalei left during (742 ~ 797AD) visited in Tibet.