OLD CITY OF BAKU dates at least to the 12th century, with some researchers contending that construction dates as far back as the 7th century. Built on a site inhabited since the Palaeolithic period, the Walled City of Baku reveals evidence of Zoroastrian, Sasanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman, & Russian presence in cultural continuity. One of the pearls of Azerbaijan's architecture is the 12th- to 15th-century Shirvanshahs' Palace.
MASTER OF THE NETS GARDEN was constructed in 1140 for a deputy civil service minister of the Southern Song Dynasty. The minister was inspired by the simple, solitary life of a Chinese fisherman depicted in philosophical writings. After his death the garden passed through numerous ownership & was rebuilt several times, but always in the spirit of the original.
Master of Nets Garden, Suzhou, Wang Shi Yuan Garden, Classic Garden of China
DAZU ROCK CARVINGS are a series of Chinese Buddhist, Confucian, & Taoist sculptures. They contain some 50,000 statues. The highlights of the rock grotto are found on Mount Baoding and Mount Beishan. Many of these were completed in the 12th century by a Buddhist monk named Zhao Zhifeng. He dedicated 70 years of his life to the project. Off-limits to visitors for many years, the carvings were opened to Chinese travellers in 1961 & foreign visitors in 1980.
FUJIAN TULOU were mostly built between the 12th-20th centuries. They are rural dwellings unique to the Hakka people in the mountainous areas. A tulou is usually a large, fortified earth building, most commonly rectangular or circular, with very thick, load-bearing, rammed-earth walls three to five stories high, housing up to 800 people.
SEFA-UTAKI is an historical sacred space of the Ryukyuan people. According to the Chūzan Seikan document, this was the spot where Amamikyu, goddess of creation, came to Earth. It comprises a number of caves and overhanging ledges opening to the east and south among towering rock formations of a high promontory over the sea. From the 12th century onwards, an exploiting class of Ryukyuans began to emerge & fortified the shrine.
KANJIZAIO-IN is the site of a former temple founded by the wife of a local warlord in the 12th century. It sat directly across from her husband's twin temples, & shared the Pure Land theme in which a Buddhist vision of heaven is attempted to be replicated on earth. Both complexes had large ponds with variable coastlines, surrounded by Pure Land gardens. all behind large earthen walls with majestic entrance gates.
Bakhtiyar Khilji was a terrorist invader from what is today Afghanistan in the 12th century. He killed thousands of indigenous Indians & is traditionally held responsible for the destruction of Nalanda University & the slaughter of its monks. This destruction was partially responsible for the decline of Buddhism in India.
In 1185, Queen Tamar of Georgia married Prince Giorgi Bogoliubskoi of Suzdal, described as a vicious, drunken adventurer by the Georgians, who considered pretty much all Russians to be vicious, drunken adventurers. Prince Giorgi was soon divorced for illegal sexual (perhaps homosexual) acts, & Tamar found herself a more compliant husband, who impregnated her with 2 children & led her armies from the Black Sea to the Caspian. Tamar defeated the Turks & set up a so-called Empire of Trebizond.
c. 1100-1750- Largely Hindu India comes under the control of invading Muslims. Under Muslim dominance, Hindus increasingly turn to the Bhakti movement, the belief that salvation is attainable by everyone without regard to class distinctions or traditional rituals. The movement is closely related to Islamic Sufism, which appears around the same time: both advocate that a personal expression of devotion to God is the way to become one with him.
c. 1190- Philip II of France is about to set off on Crusade with Richard I of England. To protect Paris from Richard's regents, Philip has a fortification built outside the city's western wall to watch the road from Normandy & the Seine. Completed about 1205, this garrison fort will become the original base of the Louvre.