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Big Wild Goose Pagoda

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is located to the south of the city of X’ian. It was built during the Tang Dynasty in the year 648. It was constructed with the purpose of serving as a shelter for a series of Buddhist scriptures that the monk Xuanzang brought after his journey to India.

In little time, the pagoda became the most important translation center for Buddhists texts. It was also used to systematize Buddhist doctrines in the country because, even when this religion had made its way into China six centuries before, there were no accurately translated texts of its doctrines.

The original pagoda was a five-story building, and due to the difficulty to find solid material such as stone, it was built with clay, and reinforced in some points with bricks. However, the structure was too weak and collapsed in short time after its construction. Between the years 701 and 704, the pagoda was rebuilt by order of the emperor Wi Setian. Five more levels were added to the original tower. Unfortunately, subsequent battles damaged the pagoda and its size was reduced to the current seven levels, with a total height of 64 meters.

It has a pyramidal shape and its climb is made through wooden ladders. In the ancient times, the names of all those who succeeded at the imperial tests and became officers were engraved in its interior. This tradition persisted during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

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