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Journeys in time 2010-10-21 The City of Nanjing (3)

10-21-2010 17:15 BJT

Today we’re continuing with our major series, in which we’re exploring the rich history and culture of the city of Nanjing. In the latter years of the Southern Dynasties some fifteen hundred years ago, southern China was under the rule of Xiao Yan, otherwise known as Emperor Wu of Liang. As a devout Buddhist, he encouraged the spread of Buddhism, until it became the dominant religion and ideology in the country. The development did not go unnoticed in the country where Buddhism originated. From India, the famous monk Dharma set out for the Liang capital at Nanjing, intending to encourage the further spread of Buddhism.

In more recent times, the city of Nanjing was at the heart of a Buddhist renaissance. Playing a key role in this, was the Jinling Sutra Publishing House.

Zhu Di, besides having the Xiao Mausoleum built for his father, Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming Dynasty, also ordered the construction of a temple in Nanjing in honour of his mother. Called the Grand Baoen Temple, this magnificent structure was known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World in the Middle Ages.

Despite losing its status as the national capital under the Ming Dynasty, Nanjing remained an important city. In fact, it enjoyed a unique position, as a sort of de facto capital. The central government offices remained in the city, and it continued to be the key political, economic and cultural centre south of the Yangtze River.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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