All You Need to Know About the Bogd Khan Palace Museum of Mongolia

If you are ever planning a trip to Mongolia, then a trip to the Bogd Khan Winter Palace is a must, and should be a top priority on your to-do list.

The Summer Palace, which has seven temples and pagodas and is a well-preserved Chinese-styled place of worship, was built between 1893 and 1906. The Winter Palace is a two-style European building that harkens back to Czarist Russia.

Following Bogd khaan's death from illness in 1924, a state museum office was established on April 1, 1926, and it was agreed to transfer the Bogd khan’s remaining property to public museum ownership.

It was turned into a museum, with historical and artistic treasures, religious icons, the royal collection of stuffed animals, and other items once owned or used by the Bogd Khaan on display.

The Bogd Khan Palace Museum

The Bogd Khan Palace Museum now houses seven Summer Prayer Temples as well as a European-style Winter Palace.

Bogd Khan Palace

The museum's collections include rare and valuable artifacts from Mongolia's political, religious, and artistic history from the 17th to early 20th centuries, including bronze castings, silk paintings, and papier mache icons created by well-known artists and artisans of the time, including the first Bogd Zanabazar and his school, as well as objects owned and used by the eighth Bogd Jivzundam.

Palace Grounds and Prayer Temples

YAMPAI

The Yampai, or it is also known as ‘‘protective gate”, was initially built at major temples which had been sanctioned by the Manchu emperor.

This blue brick gate, which stands in front of the complex, is adorned with relief patterns.

The top section, which depicts a pair of winding dragons, is embellished with powerful mountain, water, and animal figures. The Yampai is a sign of protection against enemies, thieves, and disease.

THE THREE OPEN GATES.

These gates symbolically welcome all good and nice deeds, fortune, and happiness into the palace grounds. As a result, they have no doors and are still unobstructed. The Eighth Bogd Jivzundamba and his close advisors often entered through the central gate, while provincial nobles and princes, high-ranking lamas, and foreign guests entered through the east gate. The royal bodyguards and military band were allowed to enter through the west gate.

Bogd Khan PALACE GROUNDS AND PRAYER TEMPLES

CHA-GAN

The two flag posts to the left and right of the Peace gate are known as "cha-gan." The state flag of Mongolia was flown on the western post during the Bogd Khan's reign, while a yellow religious flag was flown on the eastern post.

ANDI MEN /PEACE GATE

This gate was built between 1912 and 1919 to commemorate the coronation of the eighth Bogd as absolute emperor, which came after the Mongolian war for independence from the Manchu empire and won at the end of 1911. It was built with funds raised from the public, equal to 280 thousand lan, and was designed and built by renowned architects, designers, blacksmiths, and artists from all across Mongolia. The gate is unusually built and what makesi t even more special is that it was built without the use of a single nail, instead relying on 108 different types of interlocking joints.

The gate is richly decorated with carved and painted symbols and images depicting different facets of Buddhist symbolism: paintings showing scenes from traditional Buddhist legends: the four "makhranz," or protective deities. The decorations on the Peace Gate are typical of Mongolian art during the Bogd Khaan era.

TEMPLE OF MAKHRANZ.

The Sanskrit, Tibetan, Mongolian, Manchu, and Chinese scripts are written on a blue wooden sign above the temple's entrance, which is framed by decorative golden dragons. In 1893, the temple and the papier-mache sculptures of the four Makhranz were completed.

Sumber Mountain is said to be the middle of the universe, with the four worldly continents reaching from its four sides, according to Buddhist legend. One of the great protective kings guards each continent against both visible and invisible threats.

SILK EMBROIDERIES TEMPLE.

Approximately 130 artists and artisans from Ulaanbaatar were summoned to work here, producing clothing for the king and queen, religious pieces, and other palace artifacts under the direction of some of the most renowned artists from Ulaanbaatar. Mongolian silk embroidery advanced much faster than other art forms in the 19th and early 20th centuries, taking it to the same artistic standard as more conventional painting. The museum's collection includes many significant and valuable examples of fine embroideries.

TEMPLE OF THANGKA (RELIGIOUS PAINTING).

The creation of Tibetan Buddhism's "yellow faith" coincided with the spread of thangka paintings in Mongolia. The artist was forced to follow strict guidelines and meditate in order to complete the thangka painting.

The museum features several outstanding works by Ulaanbaatar artists from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including well-known painters Jugder, Khasgombo, and Gendendamba, as well as many unknown artists in Ulaanabaatar.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to recognize these artists because the rules of Thangka painting prohibit the artist from signing the finished work.

THE LEARNING TEMPLE OF FAITH.

The Manchu emperor named this temple after himself. Above the temple's entrance, a sign with golden dragons reads in Manchu, Mongolian, and Chinese. In the middle, “Jiv-zundamba Khutagt” is written, followed by the name of the temple, with the date “August 1893” written on the left. Every year in the last month of summer, sixteen lamas from the Dech-ingalav school would be summoned to perform the Naidan-chog ceremony, which was meant to add immortality to the Bogd.

THE TEMPLE OF MANY DIETIES.

This temple is still used to show deities depicted in different ways from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

THE LIBRARY

There were several volumes of Mongolian, Tibetan, Sanskrit, Manchu, and Chinese sutras in this temple during the Bogd's period.

The State Central Library now houses the majority of the sutras. On show are some of the remaining sutras, printing blocks, clay icons intended for general use, and brass casts.

TEMPLE OF LAVRIM.

This temple housed the Ylll Bogd's main religious symbols and was used for prayer and meditation throughout the summer.

WINTER PALACE

This is a place where you can relax and unwind in the winter.

The Winter Palace of the Ylll Bogd Jivzundamba was designed as a two-story European-style structure based on a design by a Tsarist Russian architect. The Mongolians were accused of building their palace in the style of a rival religion, so Buddhist ornaments were added to the roof and lotus designs were painted on the walls to make the palace appear more like a Buddhist temple. This structure housed the Ylll Bogd Khaan for 20 winters.

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