Surroundings and history
The original pagoda was built during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of Tang , then standing at a height of 54 m . However, this construction of rammed earth with a stone exterior facade eventually collapsed five decades later. The ruling Empress had the pagoda rebuilt and added five new stories by the year 704 AD. However, heavily damaged the pagoda and reduced it by three stories, to its current height of seven stories. Its related structure, the 8th century Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an, only suffered minor damage in the 1556 earthquake . The monastic grounds around the pagoda during the Tang Dynasty had ten courtyards and a total of 1,897 bays. In those days graduate students of the in Chang'an inscribed their names at this monastery.
Close by the pagoda is the Temple of Great Maternal Grace; Da Ci'en. This temple was originally built in and then rebuilt in memory of his mother Empress Wende by Li Zhi who later became the Tang Emperor .
The monk Xuanzang's statue stands in front of the temple area.