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Cité historique de Polonnaruwa

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993. It comprises, besides the Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas, the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.

Cité historique de Polonnaruwa

Seconde capitale de Sri Lanka après la destruction d'Anuradhapura en 993, Polonnaruwa comprend, à côté des monuments brahmaniques élevés par les Cholas, les restes monumentaux de la fabuleuse cité-jardin créée au XIIe siècle par Parakramabahu le Grand.

مدينة بولوناروا التاريخية

تحتضن بولوناروا التي اصبحت العاصمة الثانية لسريلانكا بعد الدمار الذي لحق بأنوردابورا عام 399 أنقاضاً ضخمة للمدينة الجنائزية الخلابة التي أسسها الكبير في القرن الثاني عشر، الى جانب نصب برهمانية شيدتها سلالة "الكولا".

source: UNESCO/ERI



source: UNESCO/ERI

Древний город Полоннарува

Полоннарува стала второй столицей Шри-Ланки после разрушения в 993 г. Анурадхапуры. Помимо памятников брахманизма, построенных государством Чола, здесь находятся внушительные руины удивительного города-сада, созданного в XII в. при правлении Паракрамабаху I.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Antigua ciudad de Polonnaruwa

Segunda capital de Sri Lanka después de la destrucción de Anuradhapura en el año 993, la ciudad de Polonnaruwa posee una serie de monumentos brahmánicos edificados por la dinastía de los cholas, así los vestigios monumentales de la fabulosa ciudad-jardín creada en el siglo XII por Parakramabahu el Grande.

source: UNESCO/ERI


source: NFUAJ

Oude stad van Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa werd de tweede hoofdstad van Sri Lanka, na de vernietiging van Anuradhapura in 993. In de immense stad zijn brahmaanse monumenten (gebouwd door de Chola’s, leerlingen van het brahmanisme) te vinden en ruïnes van de indrukwekkende tuinstad ontworpen door Parakramabahu I. De stad is bijzonder vanwege de ongewone afmetingen en de zeer bijzondere relatie tussen de gebouwen en de natuurlijke omgeving. De oude stad gold ook als een heiligdom van het boeddhisme en de Singalese geschiedenis vanwege de aanwezigheid van de tand van de Boeddha – talisman van de Singalese monarchie. De verwijdering van het relikwie bevestigde de ondergang van Polonnaruwa.

Source : unesco.nl

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© Barbara Blanchard
Description longue
[Uniquement en anglais]

Polonnaruwa bears witness to several civilizations, notably that of the conquering Cholas, disciples of Brahminism, and that of the Sinhalese sovereigns during the 12th and 13th centuries. This immense capital created by the megalomaniac sovereign, Parakramabahu I, in the 12th century, is one of history's most astonishing urban creations, both because of its unusual dimensions and because of the very special relationship of its buildings with the natural setting. It is also a shrine of Buddhism and of Sinhalese history. The tooth of the Lord Buddha, a remarkable relic placed in the Atadage under Vijabayahu, was considered as the talisman of the Sinhalese monarchy: its removal by Bhuvanaikabahu II confirmed the decline of Polonnaruwa.

After the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993 by Rajaraja, Polonnaruwa, a temporary royal residence during the 8th century, became the capital. The conquering Cholas constructed monuments to their religion (Brahmnism), and especially temples to Shiva where fine bronze statues, today in the Museum of Colombo, were found. The reconquest of Ceylon by Vijayabahu I did not put an end to the city's role as capital: it became covered, after 1070, with Buddhist sanctuaries, of which the Atadage (Temple of the Tooth Relic) is the most renowned.

The apogee of Polonnaruwa occurred in the 12th century AD. Two sovereigns then proceeded to endow it with monuments. Parakramabahu I (1153-86) created within a triple-walled enceinte a fabulous garden-city, where palaces and sanctuaries prolonged the enchantment of the countryside. The following monuments date from this reign: the Lankatilaka, an enormous brick structure which has preserved a colossal image of Buddha; the Gal Vihara, with its gigantic rock sculptures which may be placed among the chefs-d'œuvre of Sinhalese art; the Tivanka Pilimage, where wall paintings of the 13th century illustrate the jataka (narratives of the previous lives of Buddha), etc. Nissamkamalla hastily constructed monuments that, although less refined than those of Parakramabahu I, were nonetheless splendid: the Rankot Vihara, an enormous stupa 175 m in diameter and 55 m high, is one of the most impressive; its plan and its dimensions are reminiscent of the dagabas at Anuradhapura.

After this golden age, Polonnaruwa underwent a century of difficulties, before its final decline. The city which was invaded by the Tamils and the Maghas, then reconquered in a precarious manner, was only periodically the capital before the end of the 13th century when it was captured in an assault by Bhuvanaikabuha II, who set up his government at Kurunegala.