|The Big Wild Goose Pagoda 大雁塔 (Dàyàn Tǎ) or Giant Wild Goose Pagoda stands seven stories tall above Xi'an. It was originally built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty to a height of five stories. It was part of a complex to house manuscripts and objects brought back from India by a monk, Xuan Zang,
The pagoda collapsed about 50 years later and was rebuilt with ten stories. By then the monastery had expanded and gathered more scholar monks to work on translating and studying the sutras and related material. The friendships forged by the monk Xuan Zang on his first trip to India ensured a continued flow of visitors in both directions for many years. That pagoda weathered the later suppression of Buddhism, changes of regime, and war but was finally critically damaged during an earthquake in 1556 during the Ming Dynasty. It was repaired but lost its upper three stories. It's most recent face-lift was in 1964.
Last update: March 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2010