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                Chinese Pagoda
                Learn Chinese - History and Culture

                ?????????????? Big White Goose Pagoda
                Pagoda (tǎ 塔) is an important symbol of civilization and culture of ancient China. It’s also a significant style of ancient architecture in China. Since Buddhism introduced to our country, pagodas with Chinese characteristics has increased rapidly. And it has become an important part of the temple. Mini-pagodas can be taken as a sculpture and souvenir. Tall pagodas are with ancient multi-story structure, reflecting the situations such as technology development in different historical periods.

                Pagoda is common in Nepal, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other parts of Asia. It is the traditional oriental architecture with specific form and style. The Pagoda's original purpose was?
                Four-Door Pagodato house relics and sacred writings. Some pagodas are used as Taoist houses of worship. Pagoda is evolved from the Stupa of the Indian Buddhism and Chinese traditional pavilion. Since Buddhism has introduced to China, Chinese people combined Stupa with Clock Tower (zhōng lóu 鐘樓). With its development in Tang (táng 唐), Song (sòng 宋), Yuan (yuán 元), Ming (míng 明), and Qing (qīng 清) dynasties, the pagoda has integrated with adjacent regions, and gradually formed various styles. The earliest base-structure of Chinese pagodas was square-base and circular-base. By the 10th century the Chinese began to build octagonal-base pagoda towers. During the period, the technique of building pagodas was advanced gradually. The materials were extended from rammed earth, wood to brick, ceramic, azure stone and metal. After the 14th century, the pagoda gradually becomes common. According to the Sutras and Vinaya system, pagoda consists of Buddha Pagoda (fó tǎ 佛塔) and Wenfeng Pagoda (wén fēng tǎ 文峰塔).

                Wood PagodaChinese pagodas are with special features. A pagoda may be built of any kind of materials - stone, brick, wood, glazed tile, iron or gold. And it can be round, square, hexagonal or octagonal in shape.
                The pagoda is with great significance in Chinese culture. With their beautiful shapes, bas-relief carvings and upturned eaves, they no longer serve religious purposes alone but are exquisite tourist attractions as well.

                Big Wild Goose Pagoda (dà yàn tǎ 大雁塔)
                Big Wild Goose Pagoda is located in the Daci'en Temple (dà cí ēn sì 大慈恩寺) in the southern suburb of Xi'an (xī ān 西安), Shanxi Province (shǎn xī shěng 陜西省). It was built in A.D. 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong (gāo zōng 高宗) of the Tang Dynasty (táng cháo 唐朝) (618-907), originally the pagoda was functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were taken from India by the hierarch Xuanzang (xuán zàng 玄奘), a famous Buddhist monk who visited India for studying Buddhist classics, translated Indian Buddhist classics into Chinese language in this temple. Big Wild Goose Pagoda firstly was built to a height of 60 meters (197 feet) with five stories, it is now 64.5 meters (211.6 feet) high with an additional two stories. It was said that after that addition came the saying-'Saving a life exceeds building a seven-storied Big Wild Goose Pagodapagoda'. Externally it looks like a square cone, simple but grand and it is a masterpiece of Buddhist construction. Built of brick, its structure is very firm. Inside the pagoda, stairs twist up so that visitors can climb and overlook the panorama of Xi'an City (xī ān shì 西安市) from the arch-shaped doors on four sides of each storey. On the walls are engraved fine statues of Buddha by the renowned artist Yan Liben (yán lì běn 閻立本) of the Tang Dynasty. Steles by noted calligraphers also grace the pagoda. Around the Daci'en Temple, there are some bronze statues and stone statues which show the social life in the Tang Dynasty. Moreover, there are many square columns which are engraved with the poems of the Tang Dynasty. As the symbol of the old-line Xi'an, Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. Till now, Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a famous places of interest all over the world.


                ????? 塔是中國古代文明、文化的一種重要標志和象征,也是我國古代建筑中的一個重要類型。佛教傳來我國,結合中國特色創立的佛教寺院和中國塔有了很大的發展,塔是寺院中的重要組成部分。經過長期建造,不僅數量多,而且內容豐富。小型的塔可作為雕刻藝術品,紀念品;高大的塔則是古代的多層建筑,它涉及到不同歷史時期的狀況,也涉及到不同歷史時期的結構、力學等各方面的科學技術發展水平。

                ????? 塔是一種在尼泊爾、中國、日本、韓國、越南以及亞洲其它地方常見的,有著特定的形式和風格的東方傳統建筑。原指為安置佛陀舍利等物,而以磚石等建造成的建筑物,后來又泛指于佛陀生Big Wild Goose Pagoda處、成道處、轉法輪處、般涅槃處,乃至安置諸佛菩薩像、佛陀足跡、祖師高僧遺骨等,而以土、石、磚、木等筑成的高聳型點式建筑。印度佛教建筑窣堵坡和中國的傳統建筑樓閣是塔的兩大源頭。隨著佛教傳入,中國的窣堵坡與中土的鐘樓結合后,經歷了唐宋元明清各朝的發展,并與臨近區域的建筑體系相互交流融合,逐步形成了多種形態結構各異的塔系,建筑平面從早期的正方形逐漸演變成了六邊形、八邊形乃至圓形。其間塔的建筑技術也不斷進步結構日趨合理,所使用的材質也從傳統的夯土、木材擴展到了磚石、陶瓷、琉璃、金屬等材料。14世紀以后,塔逐漸從宗教世界走向世俗世界,因此按照經律系統,塔可以分為佛塔和文峰塔。

                ????? 在建筑學層面,塔是一種非常獨特的東方建筑,其體量高大用料多樣,在不同的地區地質條件不同,建塔技術也不同,對塔的建筑學研究涉及了材料力學、結構力學、土壤學、地質學等諸多方面。
                ????? 在東方文化中,塔的意義不僅僅局限于建筑學層面。塔承載了東方的歷史、宗教、美學、哲學等諸多文化元素,是探索和了解東方文明的重要媒介。

                ????? 大雁塔位于陜西省西安市南郊慈恩寺內,建于唐代,是全國著名的古代建筑,被視為古都西安的象征。唐高宗永徽三年(公元652年)玄奘法師為供奉從印度帶回的佛像,舍利和梵文經典,在慈恩寺的西塔院建起一座高180尺的五層磚塔,后在武則天長安年間改建為七層。此后民間有這樣的說法:“救人一命勝造七級浮屠”。大雁塔塔通高64.5米,塔體為方形錐體,造型簡潔,氣勢雄偉,是我國佛教建筑藝術中不可多得的杰作。塔身用磚砌成,磨磚對縫堅固異常。塔內有樓梯,可以盤旋而上。每層四面各有一個拱券門洞,可以憑欄遠眺。長安風貌盡收眼底。塔的底層四面皆有石門,門桅上均有精美的線刻佛像,傳為唐代大畫家閻立本的手筆。大雁塔在唐代就是著名的游覽勝地,因而留有大量文人雅士的題記,僅明清時期的題名碑就有二百余通。至今,大雁塔仍是古城西安的標志性建筑,也是聞名中外的勝跡。



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