YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia — The Borobudur temple, the largest Buddhist monument on earth, was not affected by the powerful earthquake Saturday that left thousands dead, local officials said.
A mass of forbidding black stone, Borobudur was built in the 7th century by the Javanese rulers of the Syailendra dynasty and is one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing millions of people every year.
Standing 25 miles northwest of the city of Yogyakarta, which was badly damaged by Saturday’s magnitude 6.2 earthquake, Borobudur appeared to escape damage, said Kuntung, a district official who goes by one name.
But a number of shrines in the Prambanan temple compound, 22 miles to the southeast, did suffer damage, said Lt. Yulianto, a local police officer and media reports. It was not immediately clear how badly. Video: Deadly quake rocks Java
Borobudur was abandoned for centuries—the reasons remain a mystery—and lay hidden under layers of volcanic ash and jungle growth until it was discovered in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles during the English occupation of Java island, the cultural and population center of modern-day Indonesia.
A massive restoration was carried out in the 1970s under the guidance and financing of UNESCO.
The Prambanan temple was built in 850 B.C. and is the largest Hindu temple compound in Indonesia. Not long after its construction, the temple was abandoned and began to deteriorate.
The reconstruction of the compound began in 1918 and is currently unfinished. Like Borobudur, Prambanan is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
© 2013 msnbc.com