Autobiography by Jochen Reier
The turbulent story behind Munich's Peace Pagoda
In the midst of chaotic trials and tribulations, lost translations, victories and escapes, architect J. Reier recounts his turbulent years of sailing through the South Seas and his hilarious venture to build three Nepalese Pagodas on three different continents – with almost no money. No pagoda has been built in Nepal for 200 years, but never one outside Nepal. A truly incredible story about how to overcome any obstacles and never giving up.
An Architect's Quest for World Peace
“After a long stay in Nepal I visited my brother in Munich in the autumn of 1980. I learned from him about the IGA ’83, an International Horticultural Exhibition project, which was to take place during 1983. From the balcony of his house, I could watch the construction work close up. And it was there on that balcony, when in the distance I saw a golden roofed pagoda – an idea was born. It might have been the reflection of a working bulldozer toiling in bright sunlight, which sparked my vision: A Peace-Pagoda for Munich!”
The story of
Jochen Reier was born in 1945 in Hanover, northern Germany and studied architecture in the early 70’s, in the Bavarian capital of Munich. His two great passions, foreign cultures and travel, took him through four continents.
At first he discovered Russia, Africa and America but subsequently, he learned to know and love Asia the most. About twenty times he took the adventurous route from Germany to India and Nepal, mostly as a driver of his legendary Magic Bus. Inspired by his travels to Nepal, he founded the “Association to Preserve Asian Culture” (APAC), from which three major cultural projects emerged, beginning with the hand-carved Nepalese Pagoda for the International Garden Show in Munich (IGA ’83), which is a detailed copy of Pashupathinath Temple in Kathmandu. A second Peace Pagoda was built in 1988 in Brisbane, Australia, commissioned by the Kingdom of Nepal for the World Expo ’88, followed by another for Osaka’s Exhibition in Japan (1990). After years of sailing in the South Seas, Reier has now found his “Bay of peace” on the island of Phuket in Thailand.