Por-Bajin is a mysterious island in Siberia – no one knows why it is there or who really built it.
A mysterious island containing a fortress or some sort of prison
out in the middle of absolutely nowhere has been discovered in the deepest lake high in the remote mountains of Siberia.
Vladmir Putin has visited the site and said, quote “I have been to many places, I Have seen many things, but I have never seen anything of this kind.”
When you first look at the strange rectangular island of Por-Bajin, it looks like it used to be some sort of fortress….prison…or strange colony. It was determined to have been built around 1,300 years ago.
It even has a little walkway that leads into the island….which strangely still remains even after all these centuries.
But the strangest part about this place is that it was litterally built out in the middle of nowhere…far from any other civilization, very
difficult to get to, and near no trade routes.
Even more confusing is the archeticture seems to hint that it was the Chinese whom built this…in the middle of Siberia….
Even after it’s initial discovery about 100 years ago we still have no idea what it was used for or why it was there. Some think it was used as a monestary, some think it was used as a prison, a summer home, or who knows what…it’s just this giant fortress out in the furthest reaches of nowhere in one of the most difficult places to reach to.
The Construction of Por Bajin
Believed to have been constructed in 757 AD, the ancient complex has outer walls that still rise to 40 feet (12 meters) in height and inner walls of 3-5 feet (1 – 1.5 meters), some still covered with lime plaster painted with horizontal red stripes. A main gate was discovered, opening into two successive courtyards connected by another gate.
The walls enclose an area of about seven acres containing the remains of more than 30 buildings, but with a two-part central structure linked by a covered walkway, which once had a tiled roof and was supported by 36 wooden columns resting on stone bases.
Laser mapping of the site prior to the first major excavation in 2007 helped experts build a 3D model of what the complex might have looked like.
The Origins and Purpose of Por Bajin
Since the end of the 19 th century, Por-Bajin has been linked to the Uighur Khagante nomadic empire (744 – 840 AD), composed of nomadic Turkic-speaking people held together by forces of warriors on horseback. The empire spanned Mongolia and southern Siberia, however, the location of Por Bajin was still well away from settlements and trade routes. Why would they build in such a remote location? Could it have been the site of a palace or a memorial for a ruler? The unique layout, more ornate than that of other Uighur fortresses of the period, has led some scholars to suggest that it might have had a ritual role.
Still, there are some other puzzling features. The architecture reflects a distinctive Chinese style, as evidenced by the use of Chinese building materials, such as certain types of roof tiles, and the use of Chinese construction methods. The layout, with its axial planning, dominant central building, and residential quarters is consistent with styles seen in other Buddhist monasteries. But Por-Bajin shows no evidence of religious practice.