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ARCHITECTURE & ICONOGRAPHY

  

 

 

  chintamani in architecture

 

Vietnam

A chintamani or flaming pearl, here depicted in the form of a circle wreathed in flames rather than a ball (fig.), is also found on traditional Chinese-style temple and palace buildings, usually on the roof, but sometimes on the gable. Here, it stands in the middle of the roof of Khue Van Cac (fig.), a Chinese-style two-storey pavilion in the Temple of Literature in Hanoi (fig.).

 

The pavilion is a landmark and symbol of Hanoi that is also depicted on the green banknotes with a value of 100,000 Dong. On either side of the flaming pearl is a dragon, seemingly either chasing or protecting it (fig.), which may symbolize the pursue of wisdom or Imperial protection of it.

 

  chintamani in architecture