Pagan is the largest and most resplendent centre of Buddhist art in the ancient world. Construction in the city peaked between the 11th and 13th centuries when over 2,000 temples, monasteries and stupas were created along the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy. Local architects mastered complex brick vaulting techniques unrivalled in Asia, while mural painters and stone carvers fashioned a distinctive style of Burmese art. The pace of building slowed dramatically after the capital shifted to the Mandalay area in the mid-14th century, but the city never lost its special religious and cultural significance, furnishing a field of merit to Buddhists old and new. Burma, now known as Myanmar, was terra incognita for many decades, but the lifting of travel restrictions has made this temple city now accessible. Donald M Stadtner, who has visited Pagan many times and is an expert in Indian and Burmese arts, has selected 33 monuments highlighting Pagan's history.