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
4 See also
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 the Yellow River. Inside the
frescos of the classical Chinese tales, such as The Journey to the
In the Northern Song (960–1127) dynasty’s capital city of Kaifeng,
the famous architect
Yu Hao built a magnificent wooden pagoda as part
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 the
Youguo Temple collapsed, but the Iron
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
Pagoda was featured on a two-yuan Chinese postage
glazed tiles of
Architecture of the Song dynasty
^ 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.
doi:10.2277/0521070600 (inactive 2017-08-24).
Henan Province". china.org.
^ "1994-21: Pagodas of Ancient China - 1994". chinesestamps.org.
Archived from the original on 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
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