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Home Shanxi Travel Guide Datong Travel Guide Yingxian Wooden Pagoda – The Oldest All-Wood Pagoda in China

Yingxian Wooden Pagoda – The Oldest All-Wood Pagoda in China

Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, fully named as “Pagoda of Fogong Temple”, is located inside the Fogong Temple in the Northwest of Yingxian County. It is the oldest existing all-wood pagoda in China. If you are an ancient architecture lover, Yingxian Wooden Pagoda is a must-visit site.
Introduction of Yingxian Wooden Pagoda
Yingxian Wooden Pagoda is an outstanding architectural masterpiece in Ying County, Shanxi, China. This high Pagoda, built in 1056 of the Liao Dynasty at 67 meters in height (220 feet), is regarded as the most ancient and highest wooden pagoda in China.

The uniqueness is that it is built without using nails or metal fasteners, completely relying on wooden components and complex interlocking design. It totally uses fifty-four different kinds of bracket arms. Each floor of the nine-story pagoda shows a unique shape and design, creating a vibrant and surprising outlook with 80,000 pieces of colorful glazed tiles.

Yingxian Wooden Pagoda is a must-see scenic spot for travelers, who are interested in Chinese ancient architecture and construction because it has a rich history, cultural meaningfulness, and impressive building.

Shanxi Yingxian Wooden Pagoda
Yingxian Wooden Pagoda


Yingxian Wooden Pagoda Facts

  • Address: Fogong Temple, Ying County, Shuozhou City, Shanxi Province, China.
  • Opening time: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.
  • Time Needed: about 2 hours.
  • Ticket price: CNY 50 per person.
  • The best time to visit: from May to October.
  • Best for: architecture lovers, history and culture lovers, and photographers.


Highlights of Yingxian Wooden Pagoda

  • The Wooden Pagoda of Yingxian, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Eiffel Tower are known as the “Three Great Towers of the World”.
  • The Wooden Pagoda of Yingxian is a relatively typical building in the modern existing world of wooden structure construction.
  • In September 2016, the Wooden Pagoda of Yingxian was recognized as the World’s Highest Wooden Pagoda by Guinness World Records.
  • The Wooden Pagoda of Yingxian is one of the most complex roof construction in China and even the World. Certainly, it is the most complex roof construction in the Liao Dynasty.


What to See and Do in Yingxian Wooden Pagoda

Tourists can enjoy a unique experience when visiting Yingxian Wooden Pagoda.

1. Appreciate its complex design and structure

This pagoda has a nine-story octagonal shape, but only five floors can be seen from the outside. The whole structure is built without using nails or metal fasteners, just relying on complex supports, cross beams, and crossbar systems.

2. Explore the inside of the pagoda

Tourists can climb the spiral stairs to explore the pagoda inside and see the vivid Buddha statue, Bodhisattva, and Arhat made of various materials.

3. Visit Fogong Temple buildings

Pagoda is one part of Fogong Temple buildings. In Fogong Temple, there are several halls, where there are Buddhist relics, paintings, and graffiti.

4. Know the history and culture of the pagoda

The rich history of this pagoda can be traced back to 1056 of the Liao Dynasty. At that time, Emperor Daozong built this pagoda in order to commemorate his grandmother, whose belief is Buddhism, and also to show his political power and religious belief. For centuries, this pagoda was restored and maintained for several times, and now it is a national cultural relic and hot touring destination.

Yingxian Wooden Pagoda Shanxi
Admire its intricate design and construction


Best Time to Visit Yingxian Wooden Pagoda

The best visiting period of Yingxian Wooden Pagoda is from May to October. At that time, the weather is fine, and the surrounding scenery is picture-like.

Shuozhou belongs to a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons, small quantity of rainfall, short summer days, and long and cold winter days from November to March.

In Spring and Autumn, the weather is fine, with a small quantity of rainfall and a sunny sky. Tourists can see the beautiful peach blossom in Spring and the gold leaves in Autumn.

In Summer, it is cool, relatively moist, and stormy occasionally. Tourists can explore the natural beauty of surrounding scenery, such as Mount Heng and Hukou Waterfall.


Attractions nearby Yingxian Wooden Pagoda

  • Hanging Temple: One Buddhist temple, built on a cliff above 75 meters of land, merged the ideas of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism.
  • Mount Heng: A Daoism Holy Land with a temple, pagoda, bridge, waterfall, and forest. The panoramic scene can be seen from the top of the mountain.
  • Hukou Waterfall: The largest waterfall on the Yellow River, located at the junction of Shanxi and Shaanxi. You can witness the grand scenery of the roaring sea pouring down from the narrow opening.
  • Yungang Grottoes: UNESCO World Heritage, show the glorious Buddhist cave art of 5 to 6 centuries. It has 252 caves and about 51,000 statues.
  • Nine-Dragon Screen Wall: China’s largest Dragon Wall, built in the Ming Dynasty. It is 45.5 meters long and 8 meters high and depicts the picture of nine dragons playing with pearls in the clouds and waves.

When you travel to Datong, a trip to Yingxian Wooden Pagoda is a must-visit site. We provide private guided Datong tours to the Hanging Temple and Yingxian Wooden Pagoda in a single day. >> Check out the recommended One Day Hanging Temple and Wooden Pagoda Tour

Hope the above information is helpful, and may you have a wonderful time in Wooden Pagoda of Yingxian County.

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