Architectura Sinica

Dayun Cloister, Amitābha Hall  大雲院彌陀殿


  • Amitābha Hall (English)
  • 彌陀殿 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 弥陀殿 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Mítuódiàn (Pinyin)
  • Mi-t'o-tien (Wade-Giles)
  • Dayunyuan Amitābha Hall (English)
  • 大雲院彌陀殿 (Traditional Chinese)
  • Dàyúnyuàn Mítuódiàn (Pinyin)
  • Great Buddha Hall (English)
  • 大佛殿 (Traditional Chinese)
  • Dàfódiàn (Pinyin)


  • Coordinates:
    • Lat. 36.35619167° Long. 113.4353267°
  • Building Information

    The Amitābha Hall 彌陀殿 (or Great Buddha Hall 大佛殿) of Dayunyuan was built in the fifth year of the Later Jin Tianfu reign period (後晉天福五年, 940 CE). It stands on a 1.3 m high brick podium. The hall has a front façade of 3 bays and depth of 6 rafters. Having a single eaves hip-gable roof, the six-rafter-deep hall uses a framework composed of a four-rafter beam facing an anterior rufu 乳栿 tie-beam with three columns. The column-tops hold five layer puzuo 鋪作 bracket sets with double huagong 華栱 bracket-arms and there is a single bracket set in the intercolumnar position. The central bay of the back cao 槽 inside the hall is supported by two columns and lack any column-top tie-beams. The roof frame is composed of an array of styles: up to 8 different styles of camel’s-hump braces of varying types. In addition, the interior roof frame still holds the remains of a portion of a Five Dynasties period polychrome painting, which is a rarity among the surviving premodern buildings. There is a bi-valve door on the central bay of both the front and back facades; as well as prism-lattice windows under the two side bays of the front facade. A 28.8-square meter mural, said to be the only mural extant from the Five Dynasties in all known Chinese temples, is found on the interior east wall, north wall, and screen wall. On the east wall is a transformation tableau of Vimalakīrti 維摩變相, and the back (north) wall features a transformation tableau Western Pure Land 西方淨土變相. The figures of the mural are vivid and animate.1
    Date 940
    Dynasty Later Jin 936 - 946 2

    Works Cited

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

    • 1 国家文物局. 2006. 中国文物地图集. 山西分册, II:305; 34-C5-1.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 2 WILKINSON. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual, 12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

    Contained in Place

    How to Cite This Entry

    Tracy Miller, “Dayun Cloister, Amitābha Hall 大雲院彌陀殿 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified September 26, 2020,


    Tracy Miller, “Dayun Cloister, Amitābha Hall 大雲院彌陀殿 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published March 21, 2018.

    About this Entry

    Entry Title: Dayun Cloister, Amitābha Hall 大雲院彌陀殿

    Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

    • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
    • Tracy Miller, entry contributor, “Dayun Cloister, Amitābha Hall 大雲院彌陀殿

    Additional Credit:

    • Translation 2017 by WONG Pui See
    • Editing, proofreading, data entry and revision by Tracy Miller
    • adding citations Melanie Lu

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