Twin Pagoda Temple (双塔寺 - Shūangtǎsì or 永祚寺 - Yǒngzuòsì)

Rem Sapozhnikov / April 2014
The first thing after coming and settling in Taiyuan hotel, I decided to go and see one of the most famous symbols of the city – the Twin Pagoda Temple. The temple is actually called Yongzuo (永祚寺 - Yǒngzuòsì), but since it is the two graceful Twin Pagodas, which attract attention, it is more commonly called the Twin Pagoda Temple or Shuangtasi (双塔寺 - Shūangtǎsì).

Since, according to the map, the Pagodas were within a walking distance from the railway station in the south-east direction, I started on foot to see them. At the same time on my way, I looked the eastern, in reference to the railway, part of the city.

The Twin Pagodas are about 400 years. The East Pagoda is called Wenfengta (文峰塔 - Wénfēngtǎ), and was built in 1599. The West Pagoda – Xuanwenta (宣文塔 - Xuānwéntǎ) – was built in 1612. Wenfengta and Xuanwenta are the highest Twin Pagodas in China. Each of them has 13 floors, and is about 54 meters high. They are built of brick and stone. Interestingly, the East Pagoda began to lean in the XX century, but in 1995 they managed to align it. The West Pagoda is open for visits. One can climb to the top floor on a narrow steep spiral staircase at no extra charge. And I did it.

Entrance to Yongzuo Temple (永祚寺 - Yǒngzuòsì).
Two Pagodas Temple, of course, is a more appropriate name.
A beautiful garden is gorgeous in any weather.
View to the East Pagoda from 9th Floor of the West Pagoda.
Again the East Pagoda. View from the foot.
If after entering the Temple Yongzuo you go straight, then we'll come to the garden with peonies, at the farthest side of the room there is a Daxiong hall (大雄 - Dàxióng), built in 1608-1612.
This is how Daxiong hall look from the inside.
In the corner of the garden there is a staircase, which can take you to the second floor. There is a Sanshengge pavilion (三圣阁 - Sānshènggé).
Inside the Sanshengge pavilion.
Explanatory plaque.
This 400-years-old variety of peony of Ming Dynasty is called Zixia xian (紫霞仙 - Zǐxiá xiān).
Possible translation of the variety name is "immortal light purple."
I'm going to walk further to explore the city. I take a last look at the twin pagodas.
In 1948, there was a bunker next to the pagodas. Perhaps this is the reason that East pagoda (Wenfengta) began to lean.
Entrance ticket. Price 30 yuan (170 rubles or 5 USD). Not a word in English.

Continuation :
Mengshan Mountain Buddha

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