Huong Canh Pagoda

10/02/2014

                 Huong Canh Pagoda is constructed in the later Le dynasty (XVII century). This is a huge pagoda with the skilful sculpture.

Huong Canh Temple, togetrher with Ngoc Canh, Tien Canh and Kinh Phuc pagodas (all tese pagodas are assorted the national vestiges), and many others thrines, joss-houses built in a rather small area of the potery Huong Canh commune, creates a densy vestiges cluster, unique of the folk wooden sculpture, preciously in the delta of the Northern inland region.

The Temple is in the middle of the commune, the Temple, through nearly 300 years, stands as to challenge the years and months, and weather conditions. The Temple seems to show to the nature its huge roof, but nice and charm. Using the toe-like tile, the mason group of Huong Canh Commune skillfully arranges under the form of “dragon fin”, tighly and plainly. Its rooftop is straight, its two head is curved up. Others heads also curve up make the whole Pagoda roofs as a clossal kite. For this reason, the Temple is huge but light and charming. In the old days, the Temple had three old architectural buildings and constructed accoding to the form of “Wáng” (a Chinese word). Until 1964, people dismaled the last building so there are two buildings now: the pre-woship and the sanctum. The pre-worship building has three rooms, two storeys and eight roofs. The sanctum has five rooms, two wings. It is  26m long and 13.50m wide, four roofs. To support the very heavy roof, the building workers at the time built a very strong frame. The sanctum has six pillar rows with 48 pillars of the best variety wood. The main pillar has its circumference of 2.40m, 6.00m high; the small pillars have their circumference of 1.80m and 4m high. The skilfullness of the workers is that they they not only made the knotches tightly but also calculated to devide equally the weight for balance (if not it would be turn up side down). Each part of the Temple has to bear itself a certain weight, so the horizon or vertical beams have to bind under the manner of dragging the weight toward the top of the pillar. How was skilfull to calculate such method!

The Temple does not use four main pillars as some other temples. People construct this Temple by using pillars with bar on the top so its roof are supported strongly. It can be said that every item to build the Temple is arranged approciately. These items have to “work” with high efficiency. To raise a set of heavy sword in a corner of the Temple, they have to connect to six horizon and vertical beams.

In Vietnamese language, the huge and majesty of the temple are used to make comparision with the very important event, such as “as huge as temple pillar”, or

Looking at the roof when passing by the temple

How many tiles covered, how much the love for you!

Such is Huong Canh Temple!

As mentioned above, the Temple is colossal but not heavy and a very fine carving. Any top jutted, the worker carved on it precisely and skillfully to make them become the fine art works. Especially, the carvings on the boards are no words to express. It is really a masterpiece. With 19 carving boards deviding into 6 decorative subjects, which make the Temple more majestic and charming. Among them are Cungfu, wrestle, rowing, wine and poetry, coming back from hunting, riding dragon, burying mortal remains in the mouth of dragon, eight fairies etc…These are rediced pictures of the village festivals, which reflecting a part of daily life of the people under the middle prosperous Le dynasty.

The Temple reaches a high level of architecture of wooden carving, so the Temple is not only an address for the reaserchers to study and attention but also a red addres fro people to visit and enjoy.  

 

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