Yingxian Wooden Pagoda is widely recognized as one of the three wondrous towers in the world, the other two being the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy and the Eiffel Tower in France.
It is nealy one thousand years old! Read on travel tips on it's location, history, ticket price, opening time etc..
Also known as Sakyamuni Pagoda of Fogong Temple, it is housed in Fogong Temple in Ying County, Shanxi Province.
It is the tallest and oldest pagoda merely built of wood in China and is therefore deemed as a gem in ancient architecture and a best example of its kind in the world.
Yingxian Wooden Pagoda was originally built in 1065 during the Liao Dynasty and expanded and completed in 1195 during the Jin Dynasty. It stands 67.31 m. (221 ft.) high on a 4 m. (13 ft.) high octagonal platform which has a diameter of 30.27 m. (99 ft.).
It has 5 floors and 6 eaves if you look it from outside. Since every floor has inner layers, it actually has 5 floors outside and 4 floors inside, 9 floors in total.
The pagoda is supported by 24 wooden pillars outside and eight pillars inside providing a solid and stable structure. It's estimated that the whole Pagoda used 3,000 cubic meters of wood weighing roughly 2,600 tons.
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On the first floor you'll find the statue of Sakyamuni which is 11 m. (36 ft.) high and has a solemn facial expression. There are also six paintings of the Sakyamuni on the wall along with other vivid Heavenly figures which are all of high artistic value.
Other Buddhist sculptures can also be found on higher floors. From the 2nd to 5th floor, sidewalks and railings are designed for tourists to lean on and enjoy a distant view. Over the eaves of each floor hang many wind-chimes which ring pleasantly with a gentle wind.
The history of Yingxian Wooden Pagoda dates back to more than 950 years ago and despite of the erosion of wind and rain and the threat of serious earthquakes and wars, it stood firm and suffered little damage.
In recent years, large numbers of valuable cultural relics have been found in the pagoda belonging to the Liao Dynasty and are especially helpful for the study of economy, culture and religion of that dynasty.
Final travel tips for you: ticket price for it is 61 RMB (10 USD) per person and it opens from 7:00 to 19:00.