Longxing Monastery, Cishi (Maitreya) Pavilion 隆興寺慈氏閣



  • Maitreya Pavilion (English)
  • 慈氏閣 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 慈氏阁 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Císhìgé (Pinyin)
  • Tz`u-shih-ko (Wade-Giles)
  • Longxingsi Cishige (English)
  • 隆興寺慈氏閣 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 隆兴寺慈氏閣 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Cishige


  • Coordinates:
    • Lat. 38.14363611° Long. 114.5765111°
  • Building Information

    The Maitreya Pavilion is located in front of the Dabei Pavilion at the Longxing Monastery, on the east side of the courtyard oriented east-west. This pavilion has a hip-gable (xieshan 歇山) roof, with grey tile and green-glazed tile covering the roof on both stories. The front facade has a width of three bays and is 12.95 meters, its depth is three bays and 12.34 meters. The overall height of the building is 19.96 meters. The timber substructure (pingzuo 平坐) of the building’s second floor and balcony are partially supported by a pillar extending from the pingzuo to the ground without break. Some scholars believe this is a yongdingzhu 永定柱, discussed in the Yingzao fashi (1103), and that the Maitreya Pavilion contains the only extant example of this technique known (Guo 2009, 385). Recently, others have begun to question the identification of these pillars as yongdingzhu, as well as the early date of the timber structure more generally (ATTCAT 2024).2

    Inside the pavilion stands a monumental wooden sculpture of the bodhisattva Maitreya (Cishi pusa 慈氏菩薩; Cishi (Benevolent One) being a translation of the Sanskrit name Maitreya, often transliterated as Mile 彌勒), 7.4 meters in height, itself standing on a 2.55 meter Sumeru-style platform (xumizuo 須彌座) made of brick. Twentieth-century scholars found documentation in the eighteenth-century Longxing Monastery Gazetteer (Longxingsi zhi 隆興寺志) suggesting this statue was carved in the Song dynasty from a single piece of wood. In order to construct an interior space able to accommodate the sculpture, the lower floor of the building only has two proper interior pillars framing the back of the sculpture and these extend straight through the upper floor to support the roof. A crossbeam is joined from each of the eaves pillars (yanzhu 檐柱) framing the front central bay into the body of the tall, back interior pillars, spanning the space where the front interior pillars would have been. On top of these two beams are two level, flat, bearing blocks (pingpandou 平盤枓) which form a base for shorter pillars extending upwards to support the five-rafter cross beam above the second level (Qi 1992a, 9). The bracket-block clusters (dougong 枓栱) of the lower eaves are half of the perpendicular bracket arm (huagong 華拱), and the arch of the upper eaves adopts the jia'ang 假昂 (simulated slanted bracket arm) practice. Because its upper beams are no longer original to the Song dynasty, this structure may have resulted from later restorations (Zhang et al., eds. 2000, 16-17).3

    慈氏閣位於隆興寺大悲閣前面東側,坐東向西。此閣為歇山頂,由青瓦和綠琉璃瓦覆蓋的二層樓閣氏建築。面闊三間12.95米,進深三間12.34米。室外地平至大吻上皮通高19.96米。按照郭黛姮等學者樓閣平座采用了永定柱造,也是現存的唯一一例永定柱造 (郭 2009,385)。 但是最近也有學者懷疑它們是營造法式所描寫的永定柱 (ATTCAT 2024)。

    閣內矗立一座木雕彌勒菩薩像,高至二層樓面。為使室內空間能容納佛像,慈氏閣下層內柱只有兩根,直通上層。到了二層又將前列的兩根內柱恢復,立於前檐柱與後內柱之間的大梁上,並與柱腳下放置一個大的平盤枓。下檐枓栱為半截華拱形的五鋪作枓栱,上檐枓栱采用假昂做法,這種結構可能為後世重修所導致,因為其上部梁架已不是宋代結構(郭 2009,385)。2

    閣內所供的彌勒菩薩,意譯為慈氏。彌勒像立於2.55米高的磚砌須彌座上,高7.4米。據《隆興寺誌》記載,此像用獨木雕刻於代(河北省正定縣文物保管所 2000, 16-17)。3

    Date 1050-1100
    Dynasty Northern Song 960 - 1127 1

    Works Cited

    Any information without attribution has been created following the Syriaca.org editorial guidelines.

    • 1 WILKINSON. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual, 12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 2 JUNE 7-12, 2024. ATTCAT 2024, 永定柱 yǒngdìngzhù.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 郭. 2009. 中国古代建筑史:第三卷:宋,辽,金,西夏建筑, 385.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 3 河北省正定縣文物保管所. 2000. 正定隆興寺, 16,17.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

    Contained in Place

    How to Cite This Entry

    CMW (HART 2815) F23, “Longxing Monastery, Cishi (Maitreya) Pavilion 隆興寺慈氏閣 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified June 17, 2024, https://architecturasinica.org/place/000212.


    CMW (HART 2815) F23, “Longxing Monastery, Cishi (Maitreya) Pavilion 隆興寺慈氏閣 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published March 21, 2018. https://architecturasinica.org/place/000212.

    About this Entry

    Entry Title: Longxing Monastery, Cishi (Maitreya) Pavilion 隆興寺慈氏閣

    Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

    • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
    • CMW (HART 2815) F23, entry contributor, “Longxing Monastery, Cishi (Maitreya) Pavilion 隆興寺慈氏閣

    Additional Credit:

    • Website coordination: Yuh-Fen Benda
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    • Page creator: Tracy Miller
    • Entry composition and data entry: FENG Ruoci
    • Image editing: Tracy Miller
    • Image addition: FENG Ruoci
    • Internal links: HUANG Liyu
    • Citations: SONG Qisen YAN Yiyang 嚴一洋
    • Romanization: SHEN Liyan

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