The IRON PAGODA (Chinese : 鐵塔) of
Youguo Temple (佑國寺),
Henan province, is a
Chinese pagoda built in
1049 during the
Song dynasty (960–1279) of China . The pagoda is
so-named not because it is made of iron , but because its color
resembles that of iron. It is a brick pagoda tower built on the
location of a previous wooden one that had been burnt down by
lightning fire in 1044. Along with the Liuhe , Lingxiao , Liaodi ,
Pizhi , and Beisi pagodas, it is seen as a masterpiece of Song dynasty
* 1 Architecture
* 2 History
* 3 Gallery
* 4 See also
* 5 References
* 6 External links
This octagonal -base structure stands at a current height of 56.88
meters (186.56 feet), 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, articulated dougong in the eaves (miyan) and multiple
stories (louge). The exterior features more than fifty different
varieties of glazed brick and 1,600 intricate and richly detailed
carvings, including those of standing and sitting Buddha , standing
monks, singers and flying dancers, flowers, lions, dragons and other
legendary beasts as well as many fine engravings. Under the eaves are
104 bells that ring in the wind. The foundation rests in the silt of
Yellow River . Inside the
Pagoda are frescos of the
classical Chinese tales, such as
The Journey to the West .
In the Northern Song (960–1127) dynasty’s capital city of Kaifeng
, the famous architect
Yu Hao built a magnificent wooden pagoda as
Youguo Temple (between 965–995 CE.) that was considered by
many of his contemporaries to be a marvel of art. Unfortunately, the
widely admired structure burned down in 1044 after a lightning strike.
Under the order of Emperor Renzong (1022–1063), a new pagoda was
built in its place by 1049. The new tower was built of nonflammable
brick and stone and was dubbed the ’
Iron Pagoda’ due its iron-grey
color when viewed from afar (its bricks are in fact glazed red, brown,
blue, and green). In 1847 the
Yellow River overflowed its banks and
Youguo Temple collapsed, but the
Historically, the pagoda has experienced 38 earthquakes, six floods
and many other disasters, but it remains intact after almost 1000
In 1994, the
Pagoda was featured on a two-yuan Chinese postage
glazed tiles of
* Architecture of the
* ^ Chinadaily.com.cn (2003).
Iron Pagoda. Ministry of Culture.
Retrieved on 2007-03-29. Archived August 6, 2007, at the Wayback
* ^ A B Daiheng, Gao (2002). Chinese Architecture -- The Lia, Song,
Xi Xia, and Jin Dynasties (English ed.). Yale University Press. pp.
166, 183. ISBN 0-300-09559-7 .
* ^ A B "
Iron Pagoda". China Culture. Archived from the original on
2007-08-06. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
* ^ Harper, Damian (2005). China. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74059-687-0
. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
* ^ A B Needham, Joseph; Gwei-Djen, Lu; Wang, Ling (1971). "Science
and Civilisation in China, volume 4, part 3, Civil Engineering and
Nautics". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 81–82. ISBN
0-521-07060-0 . doi :10.2277/0521070600 .
* ^ "
china.org. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
* ^ "1994-21: Pagodas of Ancient China - 1994". chinesestamps.org.
Archived from the original on 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2007-09-04.