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Ancient City of Sigiriya

Photo by Dmitry Malov / Getty images.

The ruins of an ancient fortress stand atop a large rock surrounded by jungle in central Sri Lanka. King Kassapa I selected the rock for his new capital after ascending the throne in 473 ce, fashioning this palace fortress with a gated entry in the shape of an enormous stone lion, earning the bastion its name, Sigiriya, or Lion’s Rock. After the monarch’s death, the fortress was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century, then abandoned until its ruins were discovered by British soldiers in the 19th century. Only the stone lion’s feet remain, but much of the fortresses’ walls still stand with preserved frescoes and a polished mirror wall, which the king would use to view himself as he walked the fortress paths.

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff 

June 21, 2024, World Tribune, p. 12

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