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The IRON PAGODA (Chinese : 鐵塔) of Youguo Temple
Youguo Temple
(佑國寺), Kaifeng
Kaifeng
City, Henan
Henan
province, is a Buddhist
Buddhist
Chinese pagoda built in 1049 during the Song dynasty
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 architecture .

CONTENTS

* 1 Architecture * 2 History * 3 Gallery * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links

ARCHITECTURE

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 the Yellow River
Yellow River
. Inside the Iron
Iron
Pagoda
Pagoda
are frescos of the classical Chinese tales, such as The Journey to the West .

HISTORY

In the Northern Song (960–1127) dynasty’s capital city of Kaifeng , the famous architect Yu Hao built a magnificent wooden pagoda as part of Youguo Temple
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
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
Yellow River
overflowed its banks and the Youguo Temple
Youguo Temple
collapsed, but the Iron
Iron
Pagoda
Pagoda
survived. Historically, the pagoda has experienced 38 earthquakes, six floods and many other disasters, but it remains intact after almost 1000 years.

In 1994, the Iron
Iron
Pagoda
Pagoda
was featured on a two-yuan Chinese postage stamp.

GALLERY

*

*

detail *

detail *

glazed tiles of Iron
Iron
Pagoda
Pagoda

SEE ALSO

* Architecture of the Song dynasty
Song dynasty

REFERENCES

* ^ Chinadaily.com.cn (2003). Iron
Iron
Pagoda. Ministry of Culture. Retrieved on 2007-03-29. Archived August 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ 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
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 (inactive 2017-08-24). * ^ " Youguo Temple
Youguo Temple
Iron
Iron