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Wooden Pagoda Temple

The Wooden Pagoda TempleThe Wooden Pagoda Temple in Zhangye, Gansu Province was built in early 557-588 A.D. during the Northern Zhou Dynasty. And the pagoda had been renovated several times during the dynasties of Sui (581-618A.D.), Tang (618-907 A.D.), Ming (1368-1644 A.D.) and Qing (1644-1911 A.D.) according to the records. It is located in the south street of Zhangye County Government. The present Wooden Pagoda has been well kept since 1926 and it is regarded as one of Zhangye City's Five Elements Pagodas. (Metal, wood, water, fire and earth are the 'five elements' in ancient Chinese philosophy and fortune-telling.).

Wooden Pagoda Temple is a nine-storey building about 32.8 meters (107.6 feet) high. It has a unique octagon shaped structure in each tier with eight dragonhead woodcarvings in each angle, a bead in the mouth, and a wind-bell below the neck. The main body is made of wood with eaves formed into pavilion style structure. Within the pagoda, every floor has doors, cloisters, engraved windows and lintels, which were embedded with brick carved steles. It is widely different from other pagodas because neither a nail nor a rivet can be found in the entire structure. Ascending to the top, a panoramic view of the surrounding city can be enjoyed.

At the back of the Wooden Pagoda Temple, there is a two-storey building called Scripture Pavilion, which was reconstructed at the end of Qing (1644-1911A.D.) Dynasty. The pagoda is of 27.4 meters (89.9 feet) high and five-room broad span. It was decorated with railings and layered terraces. From 1983 to 1986, the local government allocated funds to restore the whole temple.


Wooden Pagoda Temple Tour

Nowadays, Zhangye Folk Customs Museum is located in the Wooden Pagoda Temple, which forms a more complete architectural building complex. During the Wooden Pagoda Temple Tour, tourists could also pay a visit to the museum at the same time.

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