Architecture of Mongolia

Architecture Of Mongolia

The traditional Mongolian dwelling is known as yurt (Mongolian: гэр, ger). According to Mongolian artist and art critic N. Chultem, yurts and tents were the basis for the development of traditional Mongolian architecture. In the 16th and 17th centuries, lamaseries were built throughout the country. Many of them started as yurt-temples. When they needed to be enlarged to accommodate the growing number of worshippers, the Mongolian architects used structures with 6 and 12 angles with pyramidal roofs to approximate to the round shape of a yurt. Further enlargement led to a quadratic shape of the temples. The roofs were made in the shape of marquees.

The trellis walls, roof poles and layers of felt were replaced by stone, brick, beams and planks, and became permanent.

Chultem distinguished three styles in traditional Mongolian architecture: Mongolian, Tibetan and Chinese, as well as combinations of the three. Among the first quadratic temples was Batu-Tsagaan (1654) designed by Zanabazar. An example of the yurt-style architecture is the Dashchoilin khiid monastery in Ulaanbaatar. The Lavrin temple (18th century) in the Erdene Zuu lamasery was built in the Tibetan tradition. An example of a temple built in the Chinese tradition is the Choijin Lama Süm temple (1904), which is a museum today. The quadratic Tsogchin temple in Gandan monastery in Ulaanbaatar is a combination of the Mongolian and Chinese tradition. The Maitreya temple (disassembled in 1938) was an example of the Tibeto-Mongolian architecture. Dashchoilin khiid has commenced a project to restore this temple and the 80-feet sculpture of Maitreya. Also influence of the Indian architecture is significant, especially in the designs of Buddhist stupas.

Socialist-era Mongolian architects on some occasions continued to use traditional elements, like round shapes (e.g. restaurants Tuyaa (nowadays "Seoul") and Khorshoolol (nowadays "KhanBräu")) or meandering ornaments (on many of the residential towerblocks).

Read more about Architecture Of Mongolia:  Ancient Period, Yurts, Tents, Imperial Period, Renaissance, Post-Renaissance, Revolutionary Architecture, Classicism and "mass-production", Modern Period

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