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Byodoin

Built in 998 in the Heian period, Byōdōin (平等院) is the world's oldest wooden structure. It is in the city of Uji outside of Kyoto in Japan. It is also known as the Phoenix Hall or the Amida Hall. It is a Buddhist temple, established by Fujiwara no Yorimichi[?] in 1052: the former owner, Minamoto no Toru, used the building as a country villa. Additional buildings making up the compound were burnt down during a civil war in 1336.

Byodoin consists of a central hall, flanked by twin wing corridors on both sides of the central hall, and a tail corridor. The central hall houses an image of Amida Buddha. The roof of the hall displays phoenixes (called "hoo").

There is a garden with a pond in front of the building, which in 1997 was dredged as part of an archeological dig.

Japan commemorates its longevity and cultural significance by displaying its image on the 10 yen coin. In December 1994, UNESCO listed the building as a World Heritage site.

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