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ARC Home > News and Resources > News archive:

Looking for Mongolia's lost temples

February 11, 2004:

Gesar Sum is one of the few monasteries that survived

In a dramatic sign of the recovery of religious identity in Mongolia, the country’s cultural leaders are seeking to identify and document the remains of temples and monasteries that were lost under communist rule.

These magnificent wood and stone structures served as centres of Mongolian Buddhist culture for more than four centuries, but in the 1930s around 900 Buddhist temples and lamaseries were destroyed.

ARC is assisting a project run by the Arts Council of Mongolia to identify the religious sites in and around the capital of Ulaanbaatar. The research team is led by Renske Franken, a Dutch graduate student, who is being funded by the Mongolian Consulate in the Netherlands.

Did you know that more than 900 Mongolian temples were destroyed in the 1930s?
The team will use field trips and archival research to try and determine the location, functions and history of each religious site.

See ARC’s Mongolia newsletter.

Link to article on preserving Mongolian Buddhist history in the English-language Mongol Messenger



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