But Thap is the architectural complex retaining many vestiges of the 17th century. Its Buddhist palace is nearly pristine as of Vietnam ancient pagoda, including 10 compartments spreading on an axis of over 100m long. Passing through the three-entrance gate is two-storey bell tower roofs.
Main pagoda has three compartments worshipping house – incense burning hall – main sanctuary forming character “Gong”. Such layout highlights the shrine inside with many statues.
The most notable thing in But Thap pagoda is the thousand-armed Guan Yin statue sculpted in 1656. The statue is 3.7m high, 2.1m wide and 1.15m thick. The longest arm is in 200cm length. It has 11 heads, 42 large arms and 789 other short arms. From the lotus up, the statue is 235m high. On dragonhead lie the lotus of 30cm high, the statue pedestal is 54cm high. This is considered a unique masterpiece of Buddhist statues and statuary art – the art highlighting Buddhist philosophy by the concise portray language. Buddha seating on a rose lotus pedestal through the square platform decorated with ancient glyphs in relaxed appearance and visional eyes embracing the whole universe. Here exist many motifs popularly used in Vietnam pagoda such as flowers, ornamental plants and other animals including dragon, fish with pearl, unicorn with a ball, two-circle fan, waves, lotus… Guan Yin statue with two hands clasping across chest, two hands on thighs with knitting crosswise fingers, which symbolizes the religious practice and meditating posture. Overall, thousand-armed Guan Yin statue likes nimbus circles spreading out from the centre.
Two other sculptural masterpieces that make up a trilogy of well-merited works are Patriarch of Dhama Realm sages and Ba ocular marvel statues. Tuyet Son stature here is also an masterpiece of the 17th century.
Additionally, inner pagoda has more than 70 wooden statues sculpted in kneeling, standing, sitting postures with lively respectful facial features like Kim Dong – Ngoc Nu statue while La Han (Arhat) statue expresses inner feelings with Buddhist ideas.
Worshiping palace behind the Buddhist Palace is a five-compartment house with two notable statues. These statues are portrait of Queen Trinh Thi Ngoc Truc (under Le dynasty) with crown on head and wearing religious coat and portrait of Princess Ngoc Duyen. Both are in meditating posture.
From the main sanctuary, passing by a three-span stone bridge leads to three-roofing storey Tich Thien hermitage. On the bridge places, twelve marble sculpture statues carved with bird and flower shapes.
Inner Tich Thien hermitage lie Cuu Pham Lien Hoa pole which is nine-storey and eight-face wooden tower rotating around an axis, attaching the Buddhist statue and carving with fold scenery or Buddhist story theme.
The pagoda also has a tower named Bao Nghiem worshiping Chuyet Chuyet superior Buddhist monk, which looks like a huge pen straightening to the heaven. This five-storey tower is 13.05m high with top built with blue stone; except for the base storey, the four upper ones are similar with 2m wide. Five corners of the five storeys place five small bells. Tower heart lies a round hold of 2.29m diameter. Particularly the ground storey of tower has thirteen sculptures of animal theme. The tower demonstrates wonderful stone grafting and sculpture arts of ancient Vietnam people. The pagoda’s architecture still utilizes wooden reinforced frame with stone for railing pedestal carved with lively image of animals. travel to vietnam