The Wooden Pagoda is located in Yingxian County, 70 kilometers from Datong. It stands 97 meters in height. The Pagoda is an absolute wooden structure without a single nail used. It was originally built in the 11th century and was renovated in recent years. The pagoda was built by Emperor Daozong of Liao (Hongji) at the site of his grandmother's family home. The pagoda, which has survived several large earthquakes throughout the centuries, reached a level of such fame within China that it was given the generic nickname of the "Muta" (wooden Pagoda).The Wooden Pagoda boasts one of the oldest and largest wooden structures in the world.
The pagoda stands on a 4 m (13 ft) tall stone platform, has a 10 m (33 ft) tall steeple, and reaches a total height of 67.31 m (220.83 ft) tall.
The pagoda features fifty-four different kinds of bracket arms in its construction, the greatest amount for any Liao Dynasty structure. Between each outer story of the pagoda is a mezzanine layer where the bracket arms are located on the exterior. From the exterior, the pagoda seems to have only five stories and two sets of rooftop eaves for the first story, yet the pagoda's interior reveals that it has nine stories in all.
The four hidden stories can be indicated from the exterior by the pagoda's pingzuo (terrace balconies).A ring of columns support the lowest outstretching eaved roof on the base floor, while the pagoda also features interior support columns. A statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni sits prominently in the center of the first floor of the pagoda; with an ornate zaojing (caisson) above its head (the pagoda is named Sakyamuni Pagoda due to this statue). A zaojing is also carved into the ceiling of every story of the pagoda. The windows on the eight sides of the pagoda provide views of the countryside, including Mount Heng and the Songgan River. On a clear day, the pagoda can be seen from a distance of 30 km (19 mi).
Location: Fogong Temple, Yingxian County, Shuozhou City, Shanxi
Entrance Fee: RMB 60
Opening Hours: 7:00-19:00
Transportation: Take shuttle bus at 7:30AM from Datong Railway Station to the Temple directly.
or you can take long-distance bus from Xinnan Bus Station to Yingxian County.
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