5 Symbolic Constructions Surviving After Disasters

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Symbolic constructions surviving after disasters

After the attacks of earthquakes, tsunamis and atomic bombs, a large number of constructions suffered from the utter devastation while a few buildings still stand firm and become the symbols of hope and peace. This article wants to introduce 5 symbolic constructions surviving after disasters. They are Brandenburg Gate (Germany), Sanno Shrine (Japan), Magic pine (Japan), Horyu-Ji Temple (Japan) and Rahmatullah Mosque (Indonesia).

Brandenburg Gate (Germany)

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is one of the most famous sites in Germany. This work is also well-known in the German cultural life by its historical values.

Brandenburg Gate (Germany)
Brandenburg Gate (Germany)

This is a symbol of the ups and downs of history in Germany in particular and Europe in general. Besides, Brandenburg Gate carries the meaning of peace, unity and bright future. In addition, the Brandenburg Gate is symbolic because of its firm standing after a range of bombings during the World War II.

Although the Brandenburg Gate was severely affected by war, finally, it was left standing. As for the year of 2000, the Brandenburg Gate has been completely renovated and become one of the most impressive destinations in Berlin.

Sanno Shrine (Japan)

At the Sanno Shrine exists a one-legged torii, which was placed at the entrance of the temple to mark the boundary between the real world and the sacred world. Sanna Shine is seen as a symbol of the revival of Japan after the war. This torri overcame the challenge of the war, especially after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945.

Sanno Shrine (Japan)
Sanno Shrine (Japan)

Sanno Shrine is located 800 meters from the center of the bomb blast. Lying in ruins, the pillar of Sanno Shrine became a highlight. In fact, the compression of the bomb made the torii rotated 30 degrees. However, miraculously, it did not collapse and remained stand firm until now; therefore, it becomes a representative architectural detail of Japan.

The surviving trees in Sanno Shrine are also considered a symbol of enduring vitality. The two camphor trees in the temple were licked up by the flame and all the leaves fell due to the bomb damage. At that time, it was thought that the two trees would die but finally, both of them were still alive and verdant and stand firm in the shrine garden up to now.

Sanno Shrine
Sanno Shrine

In 1969, one of these two trees officially became a memorial. The scorched parts of the two trees revived and continued to grow. The whole surrounding area witnessed the ruins while the Sanno Shrine saw a miracle.

Magic pine (Japan)

This pine tree survived after the tsunami in Japan in 2011. When a double disaster of earthquake and tsunami attacked Japan in March 2011, the whole forest in Iwate district, Tohoku, Honshu island was completely destroyed. Of the total of 70,000 trees, the only one tree was still attached to the ground. Japanese people call it “magic pine”.

Magic pine in Japan
Magic pine in Japan

After the catastrophe, the pine tree was praised as a symbol of eternal life by the Japanese and international press. The pine tree had additional 18 months for the living. Its death is caused by the high salinity in the soil, which is under the impact of the tsunami. During the lifespan of 173 years, the pine tree experienced three tsunamis in 1896, 1933 and 2011.

When the pine died, it was cut down for preservation. In 2013, the tree was grown again and had the meaning of a memorial.

Horyu-Ji Temple (Japan)

Horyu-Ji Temple is the most ancient wooden construction in Japan. An amazing fact is that this temple coped with 46 earthquakes. Horyu-Ji Temple was built in 607 and was one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world. In 1993, the temple was listed among world heritage sites by the UNESCO.

Horyu-Ji Temple (Japan)
Horyu-Ji Temple (Japan)

With its unique design that helps to adapt to the geographic conditions and the climate of Japan, Horyu-Ji Temple overcomes the harshness of time, especially earthquakes in Japan.

From the wooden columns of the temple, it was found that these wooden columns existed nearly a century before the construction. This means that the wood had been cut long before the people started building the temple.

Rahmatullah Mosque (Indonesia)

On December 26, 2004, an earthquake measuring 9.1 on the Richter scale shook violently the North Sumatra province, Indonesia. The earthquake led to a horrible tsunami that swept through a series of beaches around the Indian Ocean, killing more than 230,000 people and millions of people were left homeless.

Rahmatullah Mosque (Indonesia)
Rahmatullah Mosque (Indonesia)

One of the cities that were heavily impacted by this natural disaster is Lhoknga. The city was flattened and houses were swept away. However, a marvelous thing is that the church called Rahmatullah Mosque stood firm despite the heavy destruction.