The Ise Grand Shrine – a Shinto Shrine – in Ise, Mie prefecture in Japan has been preserved exactly like it was around 2,000 years ago. Despite such a rich legacy, the UNESCO has refused to list the shrine in its list of historic places.
(Shinto priests walking beside the Ise Grand Shrine, Japan. Source)
This is because the shrine is not built of a ‘permanent structure’. The ISe Grand Shrine is built of wood and hence it gradually loses its structural integrity over years. So the Shinto priests have a solution; every 20 years they tear down the structure and rebuild another – in an adjacent plot – in exactly the same specifications as the original using the wood from the same forest that the original structure was built from. Result: the shrine is forever new, ancient and original! The present structure, dating from 1993, is the 61st iteration…
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