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(Six Harmonies Pagoda) of
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), also romanized as Hangchow, is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang, People's Republic of China. It sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Shanghai and Ningbo. Hangzhou gr ...
,
Zhejiang Zhejiang (, formerly romanized as Chekiang) is an eastern, coastal province of the People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered by Jiangsu and Shanghai to the north, Anhui to the northwest, Jiang ...
province, China, built in 1165 AD during the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and ...
A pagoda is a tiered
tower A tower is a tall structure, taller than it is wide, often by a significant factor. Towers are distinguished from masts by their lack of guy-wires and are therefore, along with tall buildings, self-supporting structures. Towers are specificall ...
with multiple
eaves The eaves are the edges of the roof which overhang the face of a wall and, normally, project beyond the side of a building. The eaves form an overhang to throw water clear of the walls and may be highly decorated as part of an architectural style, ...
common to
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
,
Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat = Golden circle subdivided ...
,
Korea Korea (officially the "Korean Peninsula") is a region in East Asia. Since 1945 it has been divided into the two parts which soon became the two sovereign states: North Korea (officially the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea") and South Ko ...
,
Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates = , largest_city = Ho Chi Minh City , languages_type = National language , languages ...
and other parts of Asia. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most often
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on origi ...
but sometimes
Taoist Taoism (), or Daoism (), is a philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the ''Tao'' (, or ''Dao''). In Taosim the ''Tao'' is the source, pattern and substance of everything that exists. Taoism teaches ab ...
, and were often located in or near viharas. The pagoda traces its origins to the
stupa A stūpa (Sanskrit: स्तूप, "heap") is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics (such as ''śarīra'' – typically the remains of Buddhist monks or nuns) that is used as a place of meditation. A related architectural ...
of ancient India. Chinese pagodas () are a traditional part of
Chinese architecture Chinese architecture demonstrates an architectural style that developed over millennia in China, before spreading out to influence architecture throughout East Asia. Since the solidification of the style in the early imperial period, the struct ...
. In addition to religious use, since ancient times Chinese pagodas have been praised for the spectacular views they offer, and many famous poems in
Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was mentioned as the twenty-first Shang king by the same. Ancient histo ...
attest to the joy of scaling pagodas. The oldest and tallest were built of wood, but most that survived were built of brick or stone. Some pagodas were solid, and had no interior at all. Others were hollow and held within themselves an altar, with the larger frequently containing a smaller pagoda (pagodas were not inhabited buildings and had no "floors" or "rooms"). The pagoda's interior has a series of staircases that allow the visitor to ascend to the top of the building and to witness the view from an opening on one side at each story. Most have between three and 13 stories (almost always an odd number) and the classic gradual tiered eaves.Steinhardt, 387. In some countries, the term may refer to other religious structures. In
Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates = , largest_city = Ho Chi Minh City , languages_type = National language , languages ...
and
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, ...
, due to French translation, the English term ''pagoda'' is a more generic term referring to a
place of worship A place of worship is a specially designed structure or space where individuals or a group of people such as a congregation come to perform acts of devotion, veneration, or religious study. A building constructed or used for this purpose is someti ...
, although ''pagoda'' is not an accurate word to describe a Buddhist vihara. The architectural structure of the stupa has spread across Asia, taking on many diverse forms as details specific to different regions are incorporated into the overall design. Many
Philippine The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republika sang ...

Philippine
bell towers are highly influenced by pagodas through
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China * Chinese people, people of Chinese nationality, citizenship, or ethnicity **''Zhonghua minzu'', the supra-ethnic Chinese nationality ** Han Chinese, the majority ethnic group in Mainland China, ...
workers hired by the
Spaniards or * Aragonese and ca, espanyols ** ** * gl, españóis * oc, espanhòls , native_name_lang = , tablehdr = Diaspora , regions = 41,539,400 , flag = Flag of Spain.svg , flag_caption = ''Rojigualda'' (Cu ...
.


Etymology

One proposed etymology is from a South Chinese pronunciation of the term for an eight-cornered tower, , and reinforced by the name of a famous pagoda encountered by many early European visitors to China, the "Pázhōu tǎ" (), standing just south of
Guangzhou Guangzhou (; , or ; ), also known as Canton and alternately romanized as Kwangchow, is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China. Located on the Pearl River about north-northwest of Hong Kong and no ...
at
Whampoa Anchorage 200px, Sampans outside the house of a mandarin, Pazhou is a subdistrict of Haizhu in southeastern Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, in China. , formerly Whampoa Island, has a total area of and is the site of Pazhou Pagoda. Its eastern bay was fo ...
. Another proposed etymology is Persian ''butkada'', from ''but'', "idol" and ''kada'', "temple, dwelling." Another etymology, found in many English language dictionaries, is modern English ''pagoda'' from
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...
(via Dravidian), from
Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had d ...
''bhagavati'', feminine of ''bhagavat'', "blessed", from ''bhag'', "good fortune". Yet another etymology of ''pagoda'' is from the Sinhala word ''dāgaba'' which is derived from Sanskrit ''dhātugarbha'' or Pali ''dhātugabbha'': "relic womb/chamber" or "reliquary shrine", i.e. a
stupa A stūpa (Sanskrit: स्तूप, "heap") is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics (such as ''śarīra'' – typically the remains of Buddhist monks or nuns) that is used as a place of meditation. A related architectural ...
, by way of Portuguese.


History

The origin of the pagoda can be traced to the
stupa A stūpa (Sanskrit: स्तूप, "heap") is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics (such as ''śarīra'' – typically the remains of Buddhist monks or nuns) that is used as a place of meditation. A related architectural ...
(3rd century BCE). The stupa, a dome shaped monument, was used as a commemorative monument associated with storing sacred relics. In East Asia, the architecture of Chinese towers and
Chinese pavilion in Taipei, Taiwan A Chinese pavilion (Chinese language, Chinese 亭, pinyin ''tíng'') is a garden pavilion in traditional Chinese architecture. While often found within temples, pavilions are not exclusively religious structures. Many Chinese park ...
s blended into pagoda architecture, eventually also spreading to Southeast Asia. The pagoda's original purpose was to house relics and sacred writings. This purpose was popularized due to the efforts of Buddhist missionaries, pilgrims, rulers, and ordinary devotees to seek out, distribute, and extol Buddhist relics. These buildings (pagoda, stupa) became prominent as Buddhist monuments used for enshrining sacred relics. In Japan, there exist a total of 22 five-storied timber pagodas constructed before 1850.


China

Earliest base-structure type for Chinese pagodas were square-base and circular-base. By the 5th-10th centuries the Chinese began to build
octagon In geometry, an octagon (from the Greek ὀκτάγωνον ''oktágōnon'', "eight angles") is an eight-sided polygon or 8-gon. A ''regular octagon'' has Schläfli symbol and can also be constructed as a quasiregular truncated square, t, which ...
al-base pagoda towers. The highest Chinese pagoda from the pre-modern age is the
Liaodi Pagoda The Liaodi Pagoda () of Kaiyuan Monastery, Dingzhou, Hebei Province, China is the tallest existing pre-modern Chinese pagoda and tallest brick pagoda in the world, built in the 11th century during the Song dynasty (960–1279). The pagoda stands at ...
of Kaiyuan Monastery, Dingxian,
Hebei Hebei (; alternately Hopeh) is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The modern province was established in 1911 as Chihli Province (Zhili Province). Its capital and largest city is Shiji ...
province, completed in the year 1055 AD under
Emperor Renzong of Song Emperor Renzong of Song (30 May 1010 – 30 April 1063, Chinese calendar: 14 April 1010 (the 3rd year of Dazhongxiangfu, ) - 29 March 1063 (the 8th year of Jiayou, )), personal name Zhao Zhen, was the fourth emperor of the Song dynasty in China. ...
and standing at a total height of 84 m (275 ft). Although it no longer stands, the tallest pre-modern pagoda in Chinese history was the of
Chang'an Chang'an (; ) was an ancient capital of more than ten dynasties in Chinese history, today known as Xi'an in Shaanxi province. Chang'an means "Perpetual Peace" in Classical Chinese since it was a capital that was repeatedly used by new Chinese ...
, built by
Emperor Yang of Sui Emperor Yang of Sui (隋煬帝, 569 – 11 April 618), personal name Yang Guang (), alternative name Ying (), Xianbei name Amo (), also known as Emperor Ming () during the brief reign of his grandson Yang Tong), was the second son of Emperor Wen ...
. The Liaodi Pagoda is the tallest pre-modern pagoda still standing, yet in April 2007 a new wooden pagoda at the Tianning Temple of
Changzhou Changzhou (Changzhounese: ''Zaon Tsei'', ) is a prefecture-level city in southern Jiangsu province, China. It was previously known as Yanling, Lanling and Jinling. Located on the southern bank of the Yangtze River, Changzhou borders the provinc ...
was opened to the public; this pagoda is now the tallest in China, standing at 154 m (505 ft).


Symbolism and geomancy

Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China * Chinese people, people of Chinese nationality, citizenship, or ethnicity **''Zhonghua minzu'', the supra-ethnic Chinese nationality ** Han Chinese, the majority ethnic group in Mainland China, ...
iconography Iconography, as a branch of art history, studies the identification, description and interpretation of the content of images: the subjects depicted, the particular compositions and details used to do so, and other elements that are distinct from ...
is noticeable in
Chinese pagoda Chinese Pagoda, Birmingham The Chinese Pagoda is a landmark in Birmingham, England. It is a 40-foot (12 m) granite carving of a Chinese pagoda, carved in Fujian, China and donated to the city by the Wing Yip brothers, founder of a local Chinese s ...
as well as other
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both geographical and ethno-cultural terms. The modern states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. The East Asian states of China, North ...
n pagoda architectures.
Iconography Iconography, as a branch of art history, studies the identification, description and interpretation of the content of images: the subjects depicted, the particular compositions and details used to do so, and other elements that are distinct from ...
of Han is noticeable in architecture of the Chinese Pagoda. The image of the
Shakyamuni Buddha The Buddha (also known as Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama or Buddha Shakyamuni) was a philosopher, mendicant, meditator, spiritual teacher, and religious leader who lived in ancient India (c. 5th to 4th century BCE). He is revered ...

Shakyamuni Buddha
in the '' abhaya mudra'' is also noticeable in some Chinese pagodas. Buddhist iconography is also inside of the symbolism in the pagoda. Some believed they would influence the success of young students taking the
examinations A test or examination (informally, exam or evaluation) is an educational assessment intended to measure a test-taker's knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics (e.g., beliefs). A test may be adminis ...
for a
civil service The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leadersh ...
degree. When a pagoda of Yihuang County in
Fuzhou Fuzhou, alternately romanized as Foochow, is the capital and one of the largest cities in Fujian province, China. Along with the many counties of Ningde, those of Fuzhou are considered to constitute the Mindong (lit. Eastern Fujian) linguistic ...
collapsed in 1210 during the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and ...
, local inhabitants believed that the unfortunate event correlated with the recent failure of many exam candidates in the prefectural examinations for official degrees, the prerequisite for appointment in
civil service The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leadersh ...
.Hymes, 30. The pagoda was rebuilt in 1223 and had a list inscribed on it of the recently successful examination candidates, in hopes that it would reverse the trend and win the county supernatural favor. The image of
Gautama Buddha The Buddha (also known as Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama or Buddha Shakyamuni) was a philosopher, mendicant, meditator, spiritual teacher, and religious leader who lived in ancient India (c. 5th to 4th century BCE). He is revered ...
in the '' abhaya mudrā'' is also noticeable in some Pagodas. Buddhist iconography can be observed throughout the pagoda symbolism. In an article on Buddhist elements in
Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) and a warring interregnum known a ...
art, Wu Hung suggests that in these tombs,
Buddhist symbolism Buddhist symbolism is the method of Buddhist art to represent certain aspects of dharma, which began in the fourth century BCE. Anthropomorphic symbolism appeared from around the first century CE with the arts of Mathura the Greco-Buddhist art of ...
was so well-incorporated into native Chinese traditions that a unique system of symbolism had been developed.


Architecture

Pagodas come in many different sizes, with taller ones often attracting
lightning strike A lightning strike or lightning bolt is an electric discharge between the atmosphere and the ground. Most originate in a cumulonimbus cloud and terminate on the ground, called cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning. A less common type of strike, ground-to- ...
s. While this has inspired tradition that the
finial A finial or hip-knob is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature. In architecture, it is a small decorative device, employed to emphasize the apex of a dome, spire, tower, roof, or gable or any of ...
decorating the top of the structure can seize demons, the historically frequent damage has often motivated the modern addition of conductive wires connecting the finial to the earth, allowing it to function as a true
lightning conductor A lightning rod (US, AUS) or lightning conductor (UK) is a metal rod mounted on a structure and intended to protect the structure from a lightning strike. If lightning hits the structure, it will preferentially strike the rod and be conducted to ...
. Wooden pagodas possess certain characteristics which are thought to help them survive earthquakes. These include the friction damping and sliding effect related to the complex wooden
dougong , built in 857 during the Tang Dynasty (25–220 AD) era architectural model of a watchtower ''Dougong'' () is a structural element of interlocking wooden bracket (architecture), brackets, one of the most important elements in traditional Ch ...
joints, the structural isolation of floors, the effects of deep eaves analogous to a balancing toy, and the
ShinbashiraThe shinbashira (心柱, also 真柱 or 刹/擦 ''satsu'') refers to a central pillar at the core of a pagoda or similar structure. The shinbashira has long been thought to be the key to the Japanese pagoda's notable earthquake resistance, when newe ...
phenomenon that the center column is bolted to the rest of the superstructure. Pagodas traditionally have an odd number of levels, a notable exception being the eighteenth century pagoda designed by
Sir William Chambers __NOTOC__ Sir William Chambers (23 February 1723 – 10 March 1796) was a Sueco-Scottish architect, based in London. Among his best-known works are Somerset House, and the pagoda at Kew. Chambers was a founder member of the Royal Academy. Biograp ...
at the
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. An internationally important botanical research and education institution, it employs 1,100 ...
, London. The pagodas in
Myanmar Myanmar (; my, မြန်မာ ) or Burma ( my, ဗမာ ), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos and ...
,
Thailand ) , royal_anthem = ''Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glorify His prestige") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Bangkok , coordinates = , largest_city = Bangkok , official_languages = ThaiLaos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Vientiane , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = Lao , recognised_languages = French , languages_type = Spoken languages , languages = ...
and
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, ...
are very different from Chinese and Japanese pagodas. Pagodas in these countries are derived from
Dravidian architecture in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu Dravidian architecture or the South Indian temple style is an architectural idiom in Hindu temple architecture that emerged in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent or South India and in Sri Lanka, reaching ...

Dravidian architecture
.


Construction materials


Wood

of 523 AD, the oldest existent stone pagoda in China. During the
Southern and Northern Dynasties The Northern and Southern dynasties () was a period in the history of China that lasted from 420 to 589, following the tumultuous era of the Sixteen Kingdoms and the Wu Hu states. It is sometimes considered as the latter part of a longer pe ...
pagodas were mostly built of wood, as were other ancient Chinese structures. Wooden pagodas are resistant to earthquakes, and no Japanese pagoda has been destroyed by an earthquake. Many have burnt down, and wood is also prone to both natural rot and insect infestation. Examples of wooden pagodas: *White Horse Pagoda at
White Horse Temple White Horse Temple () is Buddhist temple in Luoyang, Henan that, according to tradition, is the first Buddhist temple in China, having been first established in 68 AD under the patronage of Emperor Ming in the Eastern Han dynasty. The site is jus ...
,
Luoyang Luoyang is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River in the west of Henan province. Governed as a prefecture-level city, it borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanya ...
. * Futuci Pagoda in
Xuzhou Xuzhou (徐州), also known as Pengcheng (彭城) in ancient times, is a major city in northwestern Jiangsu province, China. The city, with a recorded population of 8,577,225 at the 2010 census (2,623,066 of which lived in the built-up area), i ...
, built in the
Three Kingdoms The Three Kingdoms () from 220 to 280 AD was the tripartite division of China among the states of Wei, Shu, and Wu. The Three Kingdoms period started with the end of the Han dynasty and was followed by the Jin dynasty. The short-lived Yan kin ...
period (c. 220–265). *Many of the pagodas in '' Stories About Buddhist Temples in Luoyang'', a
Northern Wei Maitreya, 443 AD. statue. Dated 489 AD. Tokyo National Museum. The Northern Wei (), also known as the Tuoba Wei (拓跋魏), Later Wei (後魏), was a Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty founded by the Tuoba (Tabgach) clan of the Xianbei, ...
text, were wooden. The literature of subsequent eras also provides evidence of the domination of wooden pagoda construction in this period. The famous
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. His ...
poet,
Du Mu Du Mu (; 803–852) was a leading Chinese poet of the late Tang dynasty. His courtesy name was Muzhi (), and sobriquet Fanchuan (). He is best known for his lyrical and romantic quatrains. Regarded as a major poet during a golden age of Chinese ...
, once wrote: :''480 Buddhist temples of the Southern Dynasties,'' :''uncountable towers and pagodas stand in the misty rain.'' The oldest extant fully wooden pagoda standing in China today is the Pagoda of Fugong Temple in Ying County, Shanxi Province, built in the 11th century during the Song Dynasty/Liao Dynasty (refer to Architecture of the Song Dynasty, Architecture section in
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and ...
).


Transition to brick and stone

, built by 652 and rebuilt in 704, during the
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. His ...
. During the
Northern Wei Maitreya, 443 AD. statue. Dated 489 AD. Tokyo National Museum. The Northern Wei (), also known as the Tuoba Wei (拓跋魏), Later Wei (後魏), was a Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty founded by the Tuoba (Tabgach) clan of the Xianbei, ...
and Sui Dynasty, Sui dynasties (386–618) experiments began with the construction of brick and stone pagodas. Even at the end of the Sui, however, wood was still the most common material. For example, Emperor Wen of Sui China, Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty (reigned 581–604) once issued a decree for all counties and prefectures to build pagodas to a set of standard designs, however since they were all built of wood none have survived. Only the Songyue Pagoda has survived, a circular-based pagoda built out of stone in 523 AD.


Brick

The earliest extant brick pagoda is the 40-metre-tall Songyue Pagoda in Dengfeng Country, Henan.Steinhardt, 383. This curved, circle-based pagoda was built in 523 during the Northern Wei Dynasty, and has survived for 15 centuries. Much like the later pagodas found during the following Tang Dynasty, this temple featured tiers of eaves encircling its frame, as well as a spire crowning the top. Its walls are 2.5 m thick, with a ground floor diameter of 10.6 m. Another early brick pagoda is the Sui Dynasty Guoqing Temple, Guoqing Pagoda built in 597.


Stone

The earliest large-scale stone pagoda is a Four Gates Pagoda at Licheng District, Jinan, Licheng, Shandong, built in 611 during the Sui Dynasty. Like the Songyue Pagoda, it also features a spire at its top, and is built in the pavilion style.


Brick and stone

One of the earliest brick and stone pagodas was a three-storey construction built in the (first) Jin Dynasty (265-420), Jin Dynasty (265–420), by Wang Jun (Jin dynasty), Wang Jun of Xiangyang District, Xiangfan, Xiangyang. However, it is now destroyed. Brick and stone went on to dominate Tang Dynasty, Tang, Song Dynasty, Song, Liao Dynasty, Liao and Jin Dynasty, 1115–1234, Jin Dynasty pagoda construction. An example is the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (652 AD), built during the early Tang Dynasty. The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, Porcelain Pagoda of Nanjing has been one of the most famous brick and stone pagoda in China throughout history. The Zhou dynasty started making the ancient pagodas about 3,500 years ago.


De-emphasis over time

Image:Shanghai-jade-buddha-temple.jpg, 260px, Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai follows the Song Dynasty multi-courtyard design, and does not feature a pagoda. The main hall is at the center. Pagodas, in keeping with the tradition of the
White Horse Temple White Horse Temple () is Buddhist temple in Luoyang, Henan that, according to tradition, is the first Buddhist temple in China, having been first established in 68 AD under the patronage of Emperor Ming in the Eastern Han dynasty. The site is jus ...
, were generally placed in the center of temples until the Sui Dynasty, Sui and Tang Dynasty, Tang dynasties. During the Tang, the importance of the main hall was elevated and the pagoda was moved beside the hall, or out of the temple compound altogether. In the early Tang, Daoxuan wrote a ''Standard Design for Buddhist Temple Construction'' in which the main hall replaced the pagoda as the center of the temple. The design of temples was also influenced by the use of traditional Chinese residences as shrines, after they were philanthropically donated by the wealthy or the pious. In such pre-configured spaces, building a central pagoda might not have been either desirable or possible. In the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and ...
(960–1279), the Zen, Chan (Zen) sect developed a new 'seven part structure' for temples. The seven parts—the Buddha hall, dharma hall, monks' quarters, depository, gate, pure land hall and toilet facilities—completely exclude pagodas, and can be seen to represent the final triumph of the traditional Chinese palace/courtyard system over the original central-pagoda tradition established 1000 years earlier by the
White Horse Temple White Horse Temple () is Buddhist temple in Luoyang, Henan that, according to tradition, is the first Buddhist temple in China, having been first established in 68 AD under the patronage of Emperor Ming in the Eastern Han dynasty. The site is jus ...
in 67. Although they were built outside of the main temple itself, large pagodas in the tradition of the past were still built. This includes the two Ming Dynasty pagodas of Famen Temple and the Chongwen Pagoda in Jingyang County, Jingyang of Shaanxi Province. A prominent, later example of converting a palace to a temple is Beijing's Yonghe Temple, which was the residence of Yongzheng Emperor before he ascended the throne. It was donated for use as a lamasery after his death in 1735.


Styles of eras


Han Dynasty

Examples of Han Dynasty era tower architecture predating Buddhist influence and the full-fledged Chinese pagoda can be seen in the four pictures below. Michael Loewe writes that during the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) period, multi-storied towers were erected for religious purposes, as Observatory, astronomical observatories, as watchtowers, or as ornate buildings that were believed to attract the favor of Chinese folk religion, spirits, deities, and immortals. Image:Pottery tower 6.JPG, History of China, Ancient Chinese model of two residential towers, made of earthenware during the Han Dynasty, 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD, excavated by archaeologists in 1993 File:Han Dynasty pottery tower2.JPG, Side view of a Han pottery tower model with a mid-floor balcony and a courtyard gatehouse flanked by smaller towers; the ''
dougong , built in 857 during the Tang Dynasty (25–220 AD) era architectural model of a watchtower ''Dougong'' () is a structural element of interlocking wooden bracket (architecture), brackets, one of the most important elements in traditional Ch ...
'' support brackets are clearly visible. File:Nswag, dinastia han occidentale, modellino funebre di una torre d'avvistamento 02.JPG, A Western-Han model of a watchtower with human figures on its balconies (including crossbowmen) and a gatehouse and courtyard on the first floor Image:Earthenware architecture models, Eastern Han Dynasty, 1.JPG, Among a large set of architectural models, three Eastern Han Dynasty watchtowers stand in the rear of this display


Sui and Tang

Pagodas built during the Sui and Tang Dynasty usually had a square base, with a few exceptions such as the Daqin Pagoda: Image:Four gates pagoda shandong 2006 09.jpg, Four Gates Pagoda, built in 611. File:Da Qin Pagoda.jpg, The Daqin Pagoda, built in 640. Image:Xi'anwildgoosepagoda2.JPG, The Small Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 709. File:Baoguangsi.jpg, Pagoda of the Baoguang Temple, built between 862 and 888.


Dali kingdom

Image:Threepagodas.jpg, The Three Pagodas, 9th and 10th centuries.


Song, Liao, Jin, Yuan

Pagodas of the Five Dynasties, Northern and Southern Song, Liao, Jin, and Yuan Dynasties incorporated many new styles, with a greater emphasis on hexagonal and octagonal bases for pagodas: File:Pagoda Yunyan Ta.jpg, The Huqiu Tower, built in 961. File:Longhua Pagoda.JPG, Longhua Pagoda, built in 977. File:The Fugong Temple Wooden Pagoda.jpg, Pagoda of Fogong Temple, built in 1056. File:Dingzhou Liaodi Pagoda 2.jpg, The
Liaodi Pagoda The Liaodi Pagoda () of Kaiyuan Monastery, Dingzhou, Hebei Province, China is the tallest existing pre-modern Chinese pagoda and tallest brick pagoda in the world, built in the 11th century during the Song dynasty (960–1279). The pagoda stands at ...
, built in 1055 File:Pagoda at Lingyan Si.jpg, Pizhi Pagoda, built by 1063. File:Haotian pagoda.jpg, Haotian Pagoda, built in 1103. File:Tianning Pagoda 1.JPG, Pagoda of Tianning Temple (Beijing), Pagoda of Tianning Temple in Beijing, 1120. File:Chengling pagoda.JPG, The Zhengding#Chengling Pagoda, Chengling Pagoda, built in 1189. File:Wuhan Wuying Ta 2012.11.21 10-44-59.jpg, Wuying Pagoda, built in 1270. File:BailinTemple2.jpg, Pagoda of Bailin Temple, built by 1330. File:Square Tower of Songjiang.jpg, The :zh:方塔園, Square Tower of Songjiang, Shanghai, built in 1884.


Ming and Qing

Pagodas in the Ming and Qing Dynasties generally inherited the styles of previous eras, although there were some minor variations: Image:Jgbzt.jpg, Zhenjue Temple, built in 1473. Image:Cishou_Temple_Pagoda.JPG, The Pagoda of Cishou Temple, built in 1576. Image:Great White Pagoda1.JPG, The Sarira Stupa of Tayuan Temple, built in 1582 Image:Fragrant Hills-pagoda.JPG, The Fragrant Hills Pagoda, built in 1780.


Some notable pagodas

Tiered towers with multiple eaves: *Dâu Pagoda, Bắc Ninh, Vietnam, built in 187. *Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal built in the 5th century. *Trấn Quốc Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam, built in 545. *Songyue Pagoda on Mount Song, Henan, China, built in 523. *Mireuksa at Iksan, Korea, built in the early 7th century. *Bunhwangsa at Gyeongju, Korea, built in 634. *Xumi Pagoda at Zhengding,
Hebei Hebei (; alternately Hopeh) is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The modern province was established in 1911 as Chihli Province (Zhili Province). Its capital and largest city is Shiji ...
, China, built in 636. *Daqin Pagoda in China, built in 640. *Hwangnyongsa, Hwangnyongsa Wooden nine-story pagoda on Hwangnyongsa, Gyeongju, Korea, built in 645. *Pagoda at Hōryū-ji#Pagoda, Hōryū-ji, Ikaruga, Nara, Japan, built in the 7th century. *Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, built in Xi'an, China in 704 *Small Wild Goose Pagoda, built in Xi'an, China in 709. *Seokgatap on Bulguksa, Gyeongju,
Korea Korea (officially the "Korean Peninsula") is a region in East Asia. Since 1945 it has been divided into the two parts which soon became the two sovereign states: North Korea (officially the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea") and South Ko ...
, built in 751. *Dabotap on Bulguksa, Gyeongju, Korea, built in 751. *Tiger Hill Pagoda, built in 961 outside of Suzhou, China *Lingxiao Pagoda at Zhengding,
Hebei Hebei (; alternately Hopeh) is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The modern province was established in 1911 as Chihli Province (Zhili Province). Its capital and largest city is Shiji ...
, China, built in 1045. *Iron Pagoda of Kaifeng, built in 1049, during the Song dynasty. *
Liaodi Pagoda The Liaodi Pagoda () of Kaiyuan Monastery, Dingzhou, Hebei Province, China is the tallest existing pre-modern Chinese pagoda and tallest brick pagoda in the world, built in the 11th century during the Song dynasty (960–1279). The pagoda stands at ...
of Dingzhou, built in 1055 during the Song dynasty *Pagoda of Fogong Temple, built in 1056 in Ying County, Shanxi, China. *Pizhi Pagoda of Lingyan Temple (Jinan), Lingyan Temple, Shandong, China, 11th century. *Beisi Pagoda at Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, built in 1162. *Liuhe Pagoda of
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), also romanized as Hangchow, is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang, People's Republic of China. It sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Shanghai and Ningbo. Hangzhou gr ...
, built in 1165, during the Song dynasty. *Ichijō-ji, Kasai, Hyōgo, Japan, built in 1171. *Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, built between 1402 and 1424, a wonder of the medieval world in Nanjing, China. *Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda in Ping Shan, Hong Kong, built in 1486. *Dragon and Tiger Pagodas in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, built in 1976. *Seven-storey Pagoda in Chinese Garden, Singapore, Chinese Garden at Jurong East, Jurong East, Singapore, built in 1975. *Pazhou Pagoda on Whampoa (Huangpu) Island,
Guangzhou Guangzhou (; , or ; ), also known as Canton and alternately romanized as Kwangchow, is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China. Located on the Pearl River about north-northwest of Hong Kong and no ...
(Canton), China, built in 1600. *Pagoda of the Celestial Lady, in Huế, Vietnam, built in 1601. *Palsangjeon, a five-story pagoda at Beopjusa, Korea built in 1605. *Tō-ji, the tallest wooden structure in Kyoto, Japan, built in 1644. *Nyatapola at Bhaktapur, Kathmandu Valley built during 1701–1702. *The Great Pagoda at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UK, built in 1762. *Pagoda (Reading, Pennsylvania), Reading Pagoda of Reading, Pennsylvania, built in 1908. *Kek Lok Si's main pagoda in Penang, Malaysia, exhibits a combination of
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China * Chinese people, people of Chinese nationality, citizenship, or ethnicity **''Zhonghua minzu'', the supra-ethnic Chinese nationality ** Han Chinese, the majority ethnic group in Mainland China, ...
, Burma, Burmese and Thai temple art and architecture, Thai Buddhist architecture, built in 1930. *The pagoda of Japan Pavilion at Epcot, Florida, built in 1982. *Pagoda of Tianning Temple (Changzhou), Tianning Temple, the tallest pagoda in the world since its completion in April 2007, stands at 153.7 m in height. *Nepalese Peace Pagoda in Brisbane, Australia built for the Expo 88, World Expo '88. *Vihara Buddhagaya Watugong, Pagoda Avalokitesvara, Indonesia, tallest pagoda in Indonesia, stands at 45 meters built in 2004. *Sun and Moon Pagodas in Guilin, Guangxi,
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
, twin pagodas on Shan Lake, originally built in the 10th century and reconstructed using historical description on the original foundation in 2001. Stupas called "pagodas": *Global Vipassana Pagoda, the largest unsupported domed stone structure in the world. *Mingun Pahtodawgyi, a monumental uncompleted stupa began by King Bodawpaya in 1790. If completed, it would be the largest in the world at 150 meters. *Pha That Luang, the holiest wat, pagoda, and stupa in Laos, in Vientiane *Phra Pathommachedi the highest pagoda or stupa in Thailand Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. *Shwedagon Pagoda, a gilded pagoda and
stupa A stūpa (Sanskrit: स्तूप, "heap") is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics (such as ''śarīra'' – typically the remains of Buddhist monks or nuns) that is used as a place of meditation. A related architectural ...
located in Yangon, Myanmar. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese with relics of the past four Buddhas enshrined within. *Shwezigon Pagoda in Nyaung-U, Myanmar. Completed during the reign of King Kyanzittha in 1102, it is a prototype of Burmese stupas. *Uppatasanti Pagoda, a 325-foot tall landmark in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, built from 2006 to 2009, which houses a Buddha tooth relic. Places called "pagoda" but which are not tiered structures with multiple eaves: *One Pillar Pagoda: Hanoi, Vietnam, is an icon of Vietnamese culture; it was built in 1049, destroyed, and rebuilt in 1954. Structures that evoke pagoda architecture: *The Dragon House of Sanssouci Park, which is an eighteenth-century German attempt at imitating Chinese architecture. *The Panasonic Pagoda, or Pagoda Tower, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This 13-story pagoda, used as the control tower for races such as the Indy 500, has been transformed several times since it was first built in 1913. *Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, built between 1994 and 1999. *Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the List of tallest buildings in the world, tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 *Taipei 101 in Taiwan, record setter for height (508m) in 2004 and currently the world's fourth tallest completed building. Structures not generally thought of as pagodas, but which have some pagoda-like characteristics: *The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at the Temple of Heaven *Wongudan Altar in Korea File:Iron Pagoda d.JPG, The Iron Pagoda of Kaifeng,
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
, built in 1049 File:Five tier pagoda at Mt. Haguro 2006-10-29.jpg, Five-story pagoda of Mount Haguro, Japan File:Ichijoji Kasai13bs4272.jpg, Wooden three-story pagoda of Ichijō-ji in Japan, built in 1171 File:Nieuhof-Ambassade-vers-la-Chine-1665 0755.tif, Yingde pagoda, Qingyuan, Guangdong Province, China, from Johan Nieuhof (1618–1672); Jean-Baptiste Le Carpentier (1606 – c. 1670): L'ambassade de la Compagnie Orientale des Provinces Unies vers l'Empereur de la Chine, 1665 File:Chua Mot Cot.jpg, One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi,
Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates = , largest_city = Ho Chi Minh City , languages_type = National language , languages ...
. File:Zhengding Kaiyuan Temple 1.jpg, The nine-story Xumi Pagoda, Hebei, China, built in 636 File:Nyatapola Temple.JPG, Nyatapola Temple located in Bhaktapur, Nepal, built in 1701–1702 File:101.red-dusk.altonthompson.jpg, Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan File:Indy Pagoda.JPG, The Bombardier Pagoda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway File:Shwedagon-Pano.jpg, Shwedagon Pagoda located in Yangon, Myanmar. The whole structure is coated with 60 tons of pure gold File:Pagoda Mumbai 2009.jpg, Pagoda Mumbai File:Buddha Tooth Relic Pagoda.JPG File:Peace pagoda -Sri Lanka.jpg, Peace Pagoda - Sri Lanka File:Sun and Moon Pagodas Guilin November 2017 HDR panorama.jpg, The Sun and Moon Pagodas lighted at night and reflected in Lake Shanhu in November 2017.


See also

*Architecture of the Song Dynasty *Cetiya *Chaitya *
Chinese architecture Chinese architecture demonstrates an architectural style that developed over millennia in China, before spreading out to influence architecture throughout East Asia. Since the solidification of the style in the early imperial period, the struct ...
*Ta - Chinese pagodas *Gongbei (Islamic architecture), Gongbei – Chinese Muslim mausoleum with pagoda-style architecture *Tō – Japanese pagodas *List of pagodas in Beijing


Notes


References

*Benn, Charles (2002). ''China's Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty''. Oxford: Oxford University Press. . *Timothy Brook (historian), Brook, Timothy. (1998). ''The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China''. Berkeley: University of California Press. * Fazio, Michael W., Moffett, Marian and Wodehouse, Lawrence.
A World History of Architecture
'. Published 2003. McGraw-Hill Professional. . *Fu, Xinian. (2002). "The Three Kingdoms, Western and Eastern Jin, and Northern and Southern Dynasties," in ''Chinese Architecture'', 61–90. Edited by Nancy S. Steinhardt. New Haven: Yale University Press. . * Govinda, A. B. ''Psycho-cosmic symbolism of the Buddhist stupa''. 1976, Emeryville, California. Dharma Publications. *Hymes, Robert P. (1986). Statesmen and Gentlemen: The Elite of Fu-Chou, Chiang-Hsi, in Northern and Southern Sung. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . *Kieschnick, John. ''The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture''. Published 2003. Princeton University Press . . *Loewe, Michael. (1968). ''Everyday Life in Early Imperial China during the Han Period 202 BC–AD 220''. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd.; New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. *Steinhardt, Nancy Shatzman (1997). ''Liao Architecture''. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.


External links


Oriental architecture.com

Culzean Pagoda (Monkey House) - the only stone built pagoda in Britain

"Why so few Japanese pagodas have ever fallen down"
(''The Economist'')
Chinese pagoda gallery (211 pics)


*[http://www.china.org.cn/english/TR-e/43208.htm The Songyue Pagoda at China.org.cn]
Structure of Pagodas, including the underground palace, base, body and steeple, at China.org.cnThe Herbert Offen Research Collection of the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum
{{Authority control Pagodas, Stupas, * Buddhist buildings Buddhist temples Towers Buddhist architecture Chinese architectural history Japanese architectural history Korean architecture Architecture of Vietnam Building types