Monday, September 22, 2008

Pagoda of Cishou Temple

The Pagoda of Cishou Temple , originally known as Yong'anwanshou Pagoda , is a 16th century stone and brick Chinese pagoda located in the Cishou Temple of Balizhuang , a suburb of Beijing, China. This octagonal-shaped pagoda is roughly 50 m tall, with elaborate ornamental carvings, thirteen tiers of eaves, and a small steeple. The Cishou Pagoda was built in 1576 during the Ming Dynasty , commissioned by Empress Dowager Li during the reign of the Wanli Emperor . The Cishou Pagoda was modelled upon a similar outside Guang'anmen in Beijing. The style of eaves on the pagoda is similar to older Liao Dynasty and pagodas. Although the surrounding Cishou Temple has been destroyed, the original Ming pagoda of Cishou has remained unharmed except for noticeable weathering damage to the carved reliefs on its exterior facade.

The brick base of the pagoda is shaped as a sumeru pedestal and is decorated with relief carvings of the , lotus petals, and other designs. The upper portion of the pagoda features carved designs of such as the guqin. Stylistic ''dougong'' supports—commonly found in —are carved in between the eaves of the pagoda.

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