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0180 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 180 (Color Image)


[Photo] Fig. 11. Buildings in the Potala precincts

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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Fig. II. Buildings in the Potala precincts

many of the pines and other trees in the temple-park had fallen to the axes of impious soldiers. But the grandiose architecture, the vast dimensions, and the consummate elegance still remained, and we stood amazed before this noblest of religious monuments from the last period of China's greatness.

To the south was the main gates, with its three arches surmounted by a decorative wooden tower or gate-house; and to the east and west were the walls that surrounded the whole group of buildings. These, too, were provided with gates, but they had only one arch. We entered the temple-park through the east gate, above which was a gate-house with a gracefully curved roof covered with shining yellow tiles. We wandered slowly westward among scattered pines towards a structure with three archways. On the flat roof were five stupas, for holding relics. In front of this building, i. e. on its southern side, two superbly carved life-sized elephants of stone kept guard.

Between this building and the main gate was a rectangular courtyard; and here, under shady trees, stood a square pavilion. The latter was raised upon a stone terrace, and was surrounded by a gracefully carved marble balustrade. Four open

1 There is a plan of the temple grounds in MONTELL'S paper »The Lama Temple Potala of Jehol» in Hyllningsskrift tillagnad Sven Hedin, Stockholm 1935, p. 179. F. B.