The Medieval World, C. 400–1300

Chinese Art from the Sui to the Yuan Dynasties, C. 589–1368

What is a pagoda?

Derived from the Indian stupa, a pagoda is a tall tower notable for its repeated rooflines featuring upturned eaves. Pagodas are one of the most recognizable examples of East Asian architecture, often found at the center of Buddhist temple complexes. Early pagodas were solid structures and therefore could not be entered, and were made of stone, brick, and wood. The Foguang Si Pagoda in Yingxian, China, built in 1056 and designed to house relics, is still the tallest wooden building in the world, at nine stories.


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