Golden Hall

Horyuji Temple
Ikaruga, Japan

Horyuji's Golden Hall (Kondo, the main worship hall) belongs to the original core (Western Precinct) of Horyuji Temple, that includes the Five-Story Pagoda and the Middle Gate (previous pages). The Golden Hall was decorated with an early and important Paradise Fresco that was destroyed by fire in 1949. The present hall encloses an outstanding group of early statues (next page).

This hall's false upper story, later porch, and stone platform are all features that are shared by the temple's pagoda. Its exterior (roofs, balconies, stone platform) derives from Chinese prototypes, but the absence of a second floor inside the building indicates that its design was recreated from Chinese illustrations of exteriors only.