Great Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayan Ta)


This Tang-dynasty pagoda was built in 652 AD to house the sutras (Buddhist scriptures) that Xuanzang had brought back from India. It became the focus of a large monastic complex, managed by Xuanzang himself, where he and his assistants translated and studied the scriptures.

The pagoda is 64m (210 ft) tall; it consists of a brick exterior and a wooden interior. Gaozong's original building was five stories high, made of rammed-earth walls and a stone exterior; this collapsed and was rebuilt in 701-704 by Empress Wu Zetian, who added five more stories. In 1556 a massive earthquake damaged the building and reduced it to the present seven stories. The last major renovation was in 1964.