Sacred History Resonates in Kathmandu

Traditional building practices coexist with global trade in Nepal's capital
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2008 3:00 PM CDT
The startling architecture of Kathmandu   (Flickr)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Decades of restoration have kept up the medieval splendor of a region long hidden from the world: Kathmandu Valley. Started by Germany in the 1960s and later spearheaded by a Harvard professor, the repairs have maintained many of the area's stupas and pagodas, Lucinda Lambton writes for Vanity Fair—but one must visit to see how the architecture infuses the sacred in the everyday.

“And what a noise," Lambton writes. "With prayer bells ringing, carpenters chiseling, metalworkers hammering, horns tooting, loudspeakers blaring, people shrieking and chattering, food sizzling. What other great historic urban space is there in the world that has flung itself so wholeheartedly into modern life while retaining its spiritual soul and stately beauty?”