10 crazy temples built at Burning Man over the last 15 years

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The Temple of Transition by Chris Hankins and his crew.
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Jim Bourg/Reuters

More than 65,000 people gather for Burning Man, the wild, weeklong festival in the middle of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert each year. Since Burning Man began in 1986, its ever-growing number of participants have abided by its founding principles, which include “radical self-reliance,” “radical self-expression,” and “leave no trace.”

As part of the festivities, teams of artists work together to build huge, intricate temples from reclaimed wood. At the end of the week, as part of Burning Man’s “leave no trace” rule, they set them ablaze.

Sculptor David Best and his crew started this tradition in 2000, designing the temples every year until 2007 and then again in 2014. Since then, other architects and artists have made their own creations. At this year’s Burning Man, which ended September 5, Best returned to build a new temple.

Check out some of the most incredible temples that have been created over the years – including the most recent one – before they were burned down.


The Temple Project by David Best and the Temple Crew (2016)


The Temple of Promise by Jazz Tigan and the Dreamers Guild (2015)

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Reuters

The Temple of Grace by by David Best and Temple Crew (2014)

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Reuters

Temple of Whollyness by Gregg Fleishman, Melissa Barron, Lightning Clearwater III and the Connection Crew (2013)

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Reuters

The Temple of Transition by Chris Hankins and his crew (2011)

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Jim Bourg/Reuters

The Temple of Flux by The Flux Foundation (2010)

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The Flux Foundation

Fire of Fires by David Umlas, Marrilee Ratcliff, and the Community Art Makers (2009)

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7263255/Flickr

Basura Sagrada by Shrine Tucker and the Basura Sagrada Collaboratory (2008)

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Alan Turkus/Flickr

Temple of Stars by David Best and the Temple Crew (2004)

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Reuters

The Temple of Tears by David Best and Temple Crew (2001)

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Wikipedia Commons