ART ARCHITECTURE IN MY SON SANCTUARY

Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary is a masterpiece of Chăm Architecture

CHĂM-STYLE ARCHITECTURE

My Son, is a unique Cham-style Art of Architecture, which was influenced by it’s Indian connection. Each historical period has its own identity, so that each temple worshiping a genie or a king of a different dynasty has its own architectural style.

All of the Chăm towers comprise three parts: a solid tower base, representing the world of humans, the mysterious and sacred tower body, representing the world of spirits, and the tower top built in the shape of a man offering flowers and fruits, or of trees, birds, animals, etc., representing things that are close to the spirit world and humans.

The sanctuary comprises more than 70 architectural works. They include temples and towers that connect to each other with complicated red brick designs. The main component of the Chăm architectural design is the tower, built to reflect the divinity of the king.

BUILDING TECHNIQUES

Even today, the construction techniques used by the Cham builders are not completely understood. Issues that have not been completely resolved include the firing of the bricks, and the mortar between the bricks.

An issue still undetermined is were the bricks hardened first, and then arranged in order to build the structures, or were the structures built out of partially hardened bricks, after which the entire structures were heated by fire to finish the hardening of the bricks?

Another is how were the bricks stuck together? One hypothesis is that the builders at Mỹ Sơn developed a way to glue bricks together using tree resin native to central Vietnam. Another is that the builders used a sticky mortar made from the same clay as the bricks themselves

One area of agreeance is that of at what point in the building process the decorative carvings were made? An examination of the carvings reveals no broken lines as would be expected if the bricks were carved first and then assembled; and as a result scholars have concluded that the Cham craftsmen made their carvings directly onto finished brick walls.

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