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Glazed Pagoda on Fragrant Hill

2015-12-22 11:15:50Share:

  Located to the south of Grand Zongjing Monastery(宗镜大昭之庙) in Xiangshan (Fragrant Hill) Park, the Glazed Pagoda(琉璃塔) was originally part of the monastery. Although the monastery suffered great damage at the hands of the allied forces of the eight powers in 1900, the pagoda survived.

 

 

  Zongjing Monastery was built in 1780 especially for the accommodation of the Sixth Bainqen when he went from Tibet to Beijing to celebrate the seventieth birthday of Emperor Qianlong. The octagonal pagoda, forty meters high, has seven stories. At the bottom is a square platform and an octagonal base to support the main structure. In the middle of the stone base, surrounded by white marble balustrades, is a pavilion-style structure, the pent roof of which is supported by wooden columns. A flat octagonal pedestal, also made of stone, decorated with statues of Buddha and surrounded by white marble balustrades, sits in the middle of the extending pent roof. The solid pagoda on the pedestal is composed of yellow, green, purple, blue and other colorful glazed parts, such as the pillars, arched doors, brackets, beams and ridge tiles. The steeple is decorated with a huge precious bead on top.

 

 

  This kind of pagoda with verandas and terraces attached to it was built after the style of Chinese traditional halls and chambers. During the Tang and Song dynasties verandas and terraces were expanded as resting places in a building. This style was adopted in the construction of solid pagodas so that pilgrims could take a rest on them. Further innovations were made when pagoda builders put the pedestal on the pent roof of the lower structure and added balustrades to it.