Monday, September 22, 2008

Iron Pagoda

The Iron Pagoda of Youguo Temple , Kaifeng City, Henan province, is a Buddhist Chinese pagoda built in 1049 AD during the Song Dynasty of . It was a brick pagoda tower built on the location of a previous wooden pagoda that had been burnt down by lightning fire in 1044 AD. Along with the , , , , and pagodas, it is seen as a masterpiece of Song Dynasty architecture.


This octagonal-base structure stands at a current height of 56.88 meters , with a total of 13 stories. It is a solid-core brick tower with an inner spiral stone staircase and outside openings to allow light and air flow. The architectural style features densely positioned, ''dougong'' in the eaves and multiple stories . Under the eaves are 104 that ring in the wind. The foundation rests in the silt of the Yellow River. Inside the Iron Pagoda are frescos of the classical Chinese tale, the ''Journey to the West''.


In the dynasty's capital city of Kaifeng, the famous architect Yu Hao built a magnificent wooden pagoda as part of Youguo Temple that was considered by many of his contemporaries to be a marvel of art. It was thirteen stories and 120 meters high. Unfortunately, the widely admired structure burned down in 1044 after a lightning strike.

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