Lofty legends: 14 ancient Chinese pagodas with distinctive styles

Youguo Temple Pagoda, Kaifeng, Henan province

Updated: Apr 13, 2022 www.chinaservicesinfo.com Print
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Youguo (Blessing the Nation) Temple Pagoda was built in 1049 during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). The octagonal structure has 13 stories with a height of 55.08 meters. It is also known as the “Iron Pagoda” as it is inlaid with brown-glazed bricks resembling the color of iron. 

The Youguo Temple Pagoda, also known as the “Iron Pagoda”, is in Kaifeng, Central China’s Henan province. [Photo/VCG]

The pagoda presents a tall and straight profile adorned with bright glazed components, and reflects the vigorous styles of its kind at that time. The pagoda body is constructed by bricks in 28 varied shapes. There are mortise and tenons designed for the bricks, which are well fitted and tightly fixed. The outer wall decorations feature more than 50 kinds of patterns, such as flying Apsaras, mythical beasts and musical performances.

Since its completion, the iron tower has withstood wars, floods, earthquakes and other disasters but still stands intact with high historical, architectural and artistic value. It was listed among the first national foremost protected cultural heritage sites by the State Council in 1961.

A detailed photo of the roof corner decorations of the Youguo Temple Pagoda [Photo/VCG]

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