Evolution, Transformation, and Representation in Buddhist Architecture - The Square Shrines of Buddhist Monasteries in Central Asia after the Fourth Century

  • Kim, Young-Jae (School of Architecture, Hanyang University) ;
  • Han, Dong-Soo (School of Architecture, Hanyang University)
  • Received : 2005.12.02
  • Published : 2011.12.30


This study notices that all religions in Central Asia from the fourth century through seventh century C.E. provided considerable hands in keeping a uniform unity through a process of assimilation, although art and architecture were greatly stimulated by the creative genius of the many people. The study thus intends to argue that the common ideas of rituals and primitive forms of religious shrines lead the square-based layout of Buddhist shrines the unity and universality in the architectural products of particular regions or epochs: i.e. the "square-based plan" in Buddhist temples of Central Asia was a significant prototype in the synthesis with pre-Buddhist architectural models and Buddhist universal ideas. Thus, this thesis notes that they did not lose the universal principles of the Buddhist shrine plans due to ritual functions, and even there have been never differences from pre-Buddhist building models remarked by the periods and the venues in which they were produced, although there had been continuous evolutions and adaptive transformations in the local tastes of religious architecture. Accordingly, this study discusses how such plans in Buddhist architecture had been consistently produced within that regional style also representative of the local idioms of architecture, and how they were adopted in the sites, founded on the composition of ritual functions. The foreign architectural cultures were selectively chosen getting along with local building types of each site according to each taste for architecture as a result.


Central Asia;Buddhist Monastery (Temple);Zoroastrian Temple;Nabataean Temple


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