Cishou Temple Pagoda

Last week, on an unusually clear day in Beijing, I took a walk through the park across the canal from where I live. The centerpiece of this park is the Cishou Temple Pagoda. This is how it looked on that gorgeous afternoon.

Here’s a description of the pagoda from The Powerhouse Museum’s Photo of the Day blog.

The Pagoda of Cishou Temple, originally known as Yong’anwanshou Pagoda, is a 16th century stone and brick Chinese pagoda located in the Buddhist Cishou Temple of Balizhuang, a suburb of Beijing. This octagonal-shaped pagoda is roughly 50m’s tall, with elaborate ornamental carvings, thirteen tiers of eaves and a small steeple. The Cishousi Pagoda was built in 1576 during the Ming dynasty, commissioned by Empress Dowager Li during the Wanli reign. The Cishousi Pagoda was modelled upon a similar pagoda at Tianning Temple outside the Guang’an Gate in Beijing. The eaves styled from pagodas in Liao dynasty (907-1125) and Jin dynasty (1115-1234). The original Cishou Temple which used to surround the Cishousi Pagoda has been destroyed during the years, while this Ming pagoda remained unharmed except for noticeable weathering damage to the carved reliefs on its exterior facade.

That site also has this photo of the pagoda, taken by a Russian photographer sometime in the first half of the 20th century.

Soon its claim to fame will be sharing a name with the new subway stop being built across the street, where lines 6 and 10 will intersect.