Mandalay, Maha Aung Mye Bom San monastery • Myanmar

Discover the Architectural Marvel of Mandalay: the Maha Aung Bom San Monastery. Unlike its teak wood counterparts, this unique edifice stands out for its construction in brick, enduring fires and earthquakes since its inception in 1818. While the exterior is brick, the interiors reveal an intriguing blend of stucco motifs that mimic traditional wooden carvings, making it a fascinating study in resilience and artistry. In just over 5 minutes, this video takes you on a visual journey through this historic monument. Learn how it withstood the test of time and why it holds a special place in Myanmar's heritage. Don't miss this chance to explore Mandalay's rich culture.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Myanmar • Burma (EN)

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Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.

The Mandalay region is renowned for the impressive number and great beauty of its Buddhist teak wood monasteries.

Maha Aung Bom San Monastery

Maha Aung Bom San Monastery (or Maha Aungmye Bonzan, according to transcripts) is an exception in that it is made of brick.

In fact, this is a half exception because, while the walls and pillars are not made of wood, the architectural ensemble is strongly influenced by the principles of teak construction. Like the wooden monuments of the time, the Maha Aung Bom San Monastery is richly decorated with sophisticated designs, but here it is stucco that has replaced wood for carving.

The monastery is also named Me Nu Oak Kyaung, which means "the brick monastery of Me Nu", Me Nu being the wife of King Bagyidaw who had it erected in 1818. This king chose brick as the basic material for the erection of this monument because of the numerous fires having destroyed the traditional monasteries of the region, the wooden monasteries.

The choice of material for the construction of monasteries is sometimes difficult. Monasteries made of wood are susceptible to fire while those built of brick or stone are susceptible to earthquakes, which are common in the region. Moreover, Maha Aung Mye Bom Sam was damaged by an earthquake in 1838.

The monastery had to wait forty years to be restored.

about the place, Mandalay:

Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, Mandalay is Myanmar's second city after Yangon (Rangoon). Founded in 1857 by King Mindon, Mandalay became the capital of the Konbaung dynasty in place of Amarapura.

It was also the last royal capital of Burma before annexation by the British in 1885. However, it remained a leading commercial and cultural center during the British era.

The city was devastated during the conquest of Burma by Japan in World War II and it became part of the newly independent Union of Burma in 1948.

 

Spoken comments in the film: 

Myanmar monasteries dating from the Konbaung period are often made of wood and are still remarkable. This monastery is built in brick but built in the same style as those in wood with very refined wooden ornaments reminiscent of the sculptures of more classical monasteries. Like many monuments, this monastery was partially destroyed by the earthquake of 1838. It was restored some forty years later.

 

Music:

 - YouTube video library - Vanity reprise

 - YouTube video library - Waiting - Andrew Langdon

 

Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of burmese traditional music in "Mandalay, Maha Aung Mye Bom San monastery • Myanmar", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

monks leaving the sanctuary, Mandalay • Myanmar
Buddhist monks in front of the Maha Aung Mye Bon San pagoda, Mandalay • Myanmar

Buddhist monks in front of the Maha Aung Mye Bon San pagoda

pagoda enclosure details Maha Aung Mye Bon San, Mandalay • Myanmar

pagoda enclosure details Maha Aung Mye Bon San

Buddha statue care, Mandalay • Myanmar

Buddha statue care

Maha Aung Mye Bon San pagoda, Mandalay • Myanmar

Maha Aung Mye Bon San pagoda

Mandalay, Myanmar

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