Chi Lin Nunnery
History and museums
Chi Lin Nunnery (Chinese: 志蓮淨苑; Cantonese Yale: Jilìhn Jihng Yún) is a large Buddhist temple complex located in Diamond Hill, Kowloon, Hong Kong. It was founded in 1934 as a retreat for Buddhist nuns and was rebuilt in the 1990s following the traditional Tang Dynasty architecture. The temple halls have statues of the Sakyamuni Buddha, the goddess of mercy Guanyin and other bodhisattvas. These statues are made from gold, clay, wood and stone.
The temple halls and the Chinese garden in front of the nunnery are open to the public daily free of charge.
The Chi Lin Nunnery uses the traditional Tang Dynasty architecture with a design based on a Sukhavati drawing in the Mogao Caves. It is constructed entirely with cypress wood, without the use of any nails, and is currently the world's largest hand-made wooden building. This construction is based on traditional Chinese architectural techniques that uses special interlocking systems cut into the wood to hold them in place. The complex with 16 halls, a library, a school, a pagoda, a bell tower and a drum tower, covers an area of more than 33,000 square metres (360,000 sq ft). The Chi Lin Nunnery buildings are the only buildings to be built in this style in modern-day Hong Kong.
The Nan Lian Garden, located in the opposite of the Chi Lin Nunnery, is a Chinese Classical Garden also built in the style of the Tang dynasty. The scenic garden covers an area of 35,000 square metres (380,000 sq ft) is maintained by the Chi Lin Nunnery.