Big Wild Goose Pagoda
The pagoda was an architectural marval. It was built with layers of bricks but without any cement in between. The bracket style in traditional Chinese architecture was also used in the construction. The seams between each layer of bricks and the "prisms" on each side of the pagoda are clearly visible. The grand body of the pagoda with its solemn appearance, simpel style and high structure, is indeed a good example of ancient people's wisdom and talent.
Pictures of the Heavenly King and of Buddha are on the doorframe sand horizontal bars on four sides of the Pagoda's base. These Stone sculptures display peak workmanship, and show vivid shapes and smooth lines. They now serve as an important source of material for the study of painting and sculpture of the Tang Dynasty. Out of these artistic works, the one on the horizontal bar of the west door is the most precious. It is a rare piece of art, now used for the study of the Tang architecture.
Inside the temple where the pagoda is situated, there are two small buildings: the one on the east side houses a bell, and the one on the west side a drum. The bell, an iron from the Ming Dynasty, weights 15 tons. Together with the drum, the bell was used to strike time for the monks in the temple.
Inside the Great Hall of the Buddha in the temple there are three incarnations of Sakyamuni. The one in the middle is called Dharmakaya. The one on the west side is called Bao Shen Buddha, and the one on the opposite is called Ying Shen Buddha. In the Doctrine Chamber stands the Amitabha Buddha. On the wall at the east side of the chamber, there are three rubbings. The one in the middle is called Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) carries the Scriptures to Chang'an. In the Tang Dynasty, every successfull candidate who passed the imeperial examinations would have to climb up the Big Wild Goose Gagoda and wrote poems and inscriptions there.
This ritual would symboliza a soaring career in the future. The fashion of writing poems and leaving inscriptions on the horizontal bars over doors and stone frame-works by successful candidates of the imperial examinations went on as far as the Ming Dynasty. These poem sand inscriptions have survivied till this day as a fine mirror to the City's past.
Address: Yanta Road, Xi'an, Shannxi