The oldest Buddhist monastery in Mongolia has survived centuries of invasions, political shifts, and religious purges.
The establishment of Erdene Zuu dates at least to 1585, and some posit it goes back much further, as far as the 8th century. It is the oldest surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. The name translated means “100 Treasures,” a nod to the number of original temples and the chain of stupas (mounded reliquaries) that form the exterior walls of the sacred site. Tangled in its legacy, across those sacred walls, there are the scars of centuries of fighting.