The LIAODI PAGODA (traditional Chinese : 料敵塔; simplified
Chinese : 料敌塔; pinyin : Liàodí Tǎ;
Wade–Giles : Liaoti T'a)
of Kaiyuan Monastery,
China is the tallest
Chinese pagoda and tallest brick pagoda in the
world, built in the 11th century during the
Song dynasty (960-1279).
The pagoda stands at a height of 84 metres (276 ft), resting on a
large platform with an octagonal base. Upon completion in 1055, the
Pagoda surpassed the height of China's previously tallest
pagoda still standing, the central pagoda of the
Three Pagodas , which
stands at 69.13 m (230 ft). The tallest pagoda in pre-modern Chinese
history was a 100-metre-tall (330 ft) wooden pagoda tower in Chang\'an
built in 611 by
Emperor Yang of Sui
Emperor Yang of Sui , yet this structure no longer
* 1 History
* 2 Features
* 3 See also
* 4 Notes
* 5 References
* 6 External links
Construction on this stone and brick pagoda began in the year 1001 AD
during the reign of
Emperor Zhenzong of Song
Emperor Zhenzong of Song , and was completed in
1055 AD during the reign of
Emperor Renzong of Song
Emperor Renzong of Song . Emperor Zhenzong
intended to have
Buddhist scriptures gathered by the Chinese monk
India stored at the pagoda's site. Due to its location at
a strategic military location, the height of the pagoda made it useful
as a watchtower , which could be used to spot enemy movements coming
from the northern
Liao dynasty headed by the Song's Khitan rivals.
Initially the pagoda was called the Kaiyuan Pagoda, but as a result of
its military use it became known as the 'Liaodi' pagoda, literally
meaning 'foreseeing the enemy's intentions.' A closeup of a door
at the Liaodi
Pagoda of Kaiyuan Temple in Dingzhou, China.
Another pagoda of similar height and design is the Chongwen
Shaanxi Province. Completed in 1605 during the
Ming dynasty , this
pagoda stands at a height of 79 m (259 ft), making it the second
tallest pagoda built in pre-modern China.
Each floor of the Liaodi
Pagoda features gradually-tiered stone
eaves, doors and windows (with false windows on four sides of the
octagonal structure) while the first floor has an encircling balcony .
A split section of the pagoda's walls are open so that the tower's
interior may be viewed, along with the actual thickness of the walls.
At the top of its steeple , the pagoda features a crowning spire made
of bronze and iron . In the interior a large staircase with landings
for each floor winds from the bottom all the way up to the top floor.
Brick brackets are used to support the landings on each floor, while
from the eighth story up there are no brackets supporting the vaulted
ceiling. Within the pagoda is a large pillar in the shape of another
pagoda, as seen from the inside and as viewed from the cut section.
The painted murals and stone steles with
Chinese calligraphy in the
pagoda are dated to the Song period when the pagoda was built.
* Architecture of the
History of architecture
History of architecture
Porcelain Tower of Nanjing , a now destroyed pagoda that was 260
Tianning Temple (Changzhou) , contains China's largest pagoda,
albeit modern (completed in 2007)
* ^ Benn, 62.
* ^ Cai (2010), pp 81-82.
* ^ Xu (2007), 123.
* ^ Xu (2007), 108.
* Benn, Charles (2002). China's Golden Age: Everyday Life in the
Tang Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-517665-0 .
* Cai, Yanxin (2011) . Chinese Architecture. Cambridge ">Coordinates
: 38°30′37″N 114°59′48″E / 38.51028°N 114.99667°E