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Wooden Pagoda of Ying County

Wood pagoda of Ying County, Datong, China This wooden pagoda is located in Fogong Temple (Buddha-Palace Temple) of Ying County in Shuozhou. It was built in 1056 and extended in 1195. It is the only tallest and oldest building fully made of wood in China, and also the only wooden pavilion-style pagoda in China. This wooden pagoda is ranked the cultural relics list under the national-level protection.

The wooden pagoda is located between the temple gate and the main hall of the temple. Macroscopically, it belongs to the layout of Front-Pagoda and Back-Hall. The pagoda is built on the dais with four meters high. The total height of the pagoda is 67.31 meters and the bottom diameter is 30.27 meters. Generally it looks like an octagon. The design and layout are both considered according to the traditional architectural characteristics and the styles of Buddhistic building features. In pagoda, visitor can see the well-preserved statues and paintings. It is a Buddha world!

Marvelously, this wooden pagoda successfully went through several big earthquakes happened in history, thanks to its unique layout design and mysterious use of anti-seismic science and technology. Wooden pagoda of Ying County has more than 900 years of history. As per the historical records, roughly 700 years ago, a strong earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale jolted here at interval for 7 days long. Many buildings were collapsed except this wood pagoda. It was not hurt at all in several earthquakes, and reversely it sent the alarm sound via the little bells hung on the eaves when the earthquake happened. Besides, it also experienced many civil wars in modern China. This pagoda can avoid the lightning strike thanks to the iron-made tip on the top pf pagoda, and originally this tip with 14 meters long was used for decoration. It actually plays the role of lightning rod, moreover there are 8 iron chains in four directions of pagoda, and they can conduct the lightning into the ground. The wood pagoda is the world’s best-preserved and most magnificent pagoda with the elaborate structure. It partially shows old China’s development of science and technology in the field of lightning resistance, anti-seismic theory and mechanical equilibrium. To some extent, it has been one of the symbols of Shanxi province.

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