Samye Monastery


This southern view of the Samye monastery (also seen as Sam-ye or Sam-yai in other sources) is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. G.Ts. Tsybikov wrote in his article “Journey to Lhasa” of 1904: “The Sam-yai monastery is on the left bank of the Brahmaputra, 67 miles south-east of Lhasa. It is the oldest in Tibet, having been founded in the ninth century. Its five-storied sume (temple), of which the style is both Tibetan and Indian, is its chief attraction.” The photographs in this collection were taken by two Mongolian Buddhist lamas, G.Ts. Tsybikov and Ovshe (O.M.) Norzunov, who visited Tibet in 1900 and 1901. Accompanying the photos is a set of notes written in Russian for the Imperial Russian Geographical Society by Tsybikov, Norzunov, and other Mongolians familiar with central Tibet. Alexander Grigoriev, corresponding member of the American Geographical Society, translated the notes from Russian into English in April 1904.

Last updated: March 22, 2016