Press releases
News archive
Selected books
ARC Home > News and Resources > News archive:

Looking for Mongolia's lost temples

February 11, 2004:

Gesar Sum is one of the few monasteries that survived

In a dramatic sign of the recovery of religious identity in Mongolia, the country’s cultural leaders are seeking to identify and document the remains of temples and monasteries that were lost under communist rule.

These magnificent wood and stone structures served as centres of Mongolian Buddhist culture for more than four centuries, but in the 1930s around 900 Buddhist temples and lamaseries were destroyed.

ARC is assisting a project run by the Arts Council of Mongolia to identify the religious sites in and around the capital of Ulaanbaatar. The research team is led by Renske Franken, a Dutch graduate student, who is being funded by the Mongolian Consulate in the Netherlands.

Did you know that more than 900 Mongolian temples were destroyed in the 1930s?
The team will use field trips and archival research to try and determine the location, functions and history of each religious site.

See ARC’s Mongolia newsletter.

Link to article on preserving Mongolian Buddhist history in the English-language Mongol Messenger

< previous 
ARC site map
Related pages

15 July 2003:
Mongolian Prime Minister first International President of ARC
Nambaryn Enkhbayar, prime minister of Mongolia is ARC's first International President. Enkhbayar is a Buddhist who grew up as a communist – and he has drawn upon his faith to rebuild his country.
The lost sutras of Mongolia
Mongolian Buddhist tradition marked out sacred landscapes, where animals and vegetation were protected
ARC and the Faiths
Faith communities are working in countless ways to care for the environment. This section outlines the basics of each faith’s history, beliefs and teachings on ecology.