|When Big Wild Goose Pagoda was rebuilt in 704 after the first rammed earth pagoda collapsed, Emperor Gaozong had died and his wife, Empress Wu Zetian 武则天 (Wǔ Zétiān) had assumed the throne. She was the first and last empress of China. Other women held great power in China and ruled as regent, but Empress Wu Zitian ruled in her own right.
She had an additional five stories added to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, bringing the total to ten stories. Today, the pagoda's remaining seven stories bring it to a height of 210 feet (64 meters).
Last update: March 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2010