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Ancient City of Sigiriya

Ancient City of Sigiriya

The ruins of the capital built by the parricidal King Kassapa I (477–95) lie on the steep slopes and at the summit of a granite peak standing some 180m high (the 'Lion's Rock', which dominates the jungle from all sides). A series of galleries and staircases emerging from the mouth of a gigantic lion constructed of bricks and plaster provide access to the site.

Ville ancienne de Sigiriya

Sur les pentes abruptes et au sommet d'un rocher de pierre rouge haut de 180m, le « Rocher du Lion », qui domine la jungle de toutes parts, subsistent les ruines de la citadelle dont le roi parricide Kassyapa (477-495) fit sa capitale. Une série de galeries et d'escaliers qui débouchent dans la gueule d'un lion colossal construit en brique et en plâtre permettent d'accéder au site.

مدينة سيغيريا القديمة

لا تزال أنقاض القلعة التي جعل منها الملك كاسيابا الذي قتل والده (477 – 495) عاصمته قائمة على المنحدرات الوعرة وعلى قمة صخرة من الحجر الأحمر ترتفع الى 180 متراً وتعرف "بصخرة الأسد" المشرفة على الأدغال من الجهات كلها. ويمكن النفاذ الى هذا الموقع عبر مجموعة من الأروقة والأدراج التي تصب في فم أسد ضخم مصنوع من القرميد والجص.

source: UNESCO/ERI


锡吉里亚古城是弑亲的迦叶波一世(公元477-495年)时所建国都的遗址。锡吉里亚古城遗址位处陡峭的斜坡之上,位于高达180米的花岗岩山峰峰顶“狮子岩”上,这里人们可以从四面俯视整个丛林。用砖和灰泥修筑的长廊和台阶从巨狮口中延伸而出,通向锡吉里亚古城遗址 。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Древний город Сигирия

Руины королевской резиденции, которую построил царь-отцеубийца Кассапа I (477-495 гг.), расположены на крутых склонах и на вершине гранитной скалы – это так называемая “Львиная скала”, возвышающаяся над окружающими джунглями на 180 м. Пройти в резиденцию можно было по лестнице, которая проходила через пасть гигантского льва, сооруженного из кирпича и покрытого штукатурным раствором.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Antigua ciudad de Sigiriya

En la cumbre y las abruptas laderas de la “Roca del León” –un peñasco granítico de 180 metros de altura desde el que se domina toda la jungla circundante– se hallan las ruinas de la ciudad en la que el rey parricida Kassapa I (477–495) asentó su capital. Al sitio se accede por una serie de galerías y escaleras que salen de las fauces de un colosal león construido con ladrillos y yeso.

source: UNESCO/ERI


source: NFUAJ

Oude stad van Sigiriya

De ruïnes van de stad Sigiriya – gebouwd door de moordlustige koning Kassapa I (477-495) – liggen op de steile hellingen en de top van een granieten piek van zo’n 370 meter hoogte. Deze ‘Leeuwenrots’ domineert de jungle van alle kanten. De ingang van het gebied bestaat uit een serie van galerijen en trappen, die tevoorschijn komen uit de mond van een gigantische leeuw, gemaakt van bakstenen en gips. De (rots)fresco’s van Sigiriya hebben vele eeuwen doorstaan. Op de rotsen zijn ook gedichten te vinden die bekend staan als de ‘Sigiri graffiti’. Ze behoren tot de oudste teksten van de Singalese taal.

Source: unesco.nl

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Ancient City of Sigiriya © Barbara Blanchard
Long Description

Sigiriya is a unique witness to the civilization of Ceylon during the years of the reign of Kassapa I. The site of the 'Lion Mountain' was visited from the 6th century AD, by passionate admirers. The frescoes of Sigiriya inaugurated a pictorial style which endured over many centuries. The poems inscribed on the rock by certain of these admirers, and known as the 'Sigiri graffiti,' are among the most ancient texts in the Sinhalese language, and thus show the considerable influence exerted by the abandoned city of Kassapa I on both literature and thought.

In the heart of Ceylon, the extraordinary site of Sigiriya, a lofty rock of reddish gneiss dominating, from a height of some 180m, the neighbouring plateau, has been inhabited since the 3rd century BC, as attested by the graffiti which proliferate in the grottoes and the shelters of the Buddhist monks. The fame of the 'Lion Mountain' is, however, due to one single factor: during a short period in the 5th century AD, a sovereign established his capital there. King Kassapa I (477-95), son of Dhatusena, only came to power after he had engineered the assassination of his father and had, briefly, dispossessed his brother.

Justly fearing the vengeance of the latter, Kassapa had a fortified palace built on the rock of Sigiriya which was reputed to be impregnable. However, it was there that he was defeated after a short but cruel battle in 495, following which he cut his throat. After the death of Kassapa, Moggallana returned the site of Sigiriya to the monks, thus condemning it to progressive abandonment. During the eleven years that Kassapa resided in Sigiriya, he created a residence of exceptional splendour and founded his capital there, impressive vestiges of which are still extant.

At the summit of the rock is the fortified palace with its ruined buildings, its cisterns and its rock sculptures. At the foot of the rock are the two quarters of the lower city which are defended by a massive wall: the eastern quarter (perhaps postdating the 5th century), which has not been sufficiently excavated, and the aristocratic quarter of the capital of Kassapa I, noteworthy for its terraced gardens embellished by canals and fountains, as well as for numerous monumental remains which have been disengaged from the forest which had invaded the ruins.

Halfway up the rock, within an inaccessible rocky shelter in the vertical wall of the western face are rock paintings which have brought universal acclaim to the site of Sigiriya - 'The Maidens of the Clouds', 21 non-identified female figures, comparable to the most beautiful creations of Ajanta.