Baochu Pagoda – Location, Highlights, and History

baochu pagoda hangzhou

Baochu Pagoda (保俶塔), located on Baoshi Mountain in the northern part of West Lake, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, stands as a traditional ancient structure dating back to the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907-960 AD). Originally built during the reign of Wu Yue King Qian Liu, the pagoda underwent multiple reconstructions in subsequent dynasties.

The pagoda’s distinctive features include an eight-sided, seven-story structure with a wooden-imitation design made of brick. Rising 45.3 meters, it consists of a base, body, and spire. The base, octagonal in shape, transitions to a circular body by the seventh level. Baochu Pagoda is considered a symbolic landmark of West Lake, playing a vital role in studying the evolution of West Lake, the formation of cultural landscapes, and the dissemination of Buddhist culture in the Wu Yue Kingdom.

History of Baochu Pagoda

Throughout its history, the pagoda underwent several renovations. In the Northern Song Dynasty, during the Xianping era (998-1003 AD), a monk named Yonbao initiated a major reconstruction, reducing the levels to seven. In the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, the pagoda faced multiple destructions and rebuilds.

During the Qing Dynasty, in the 54th year of the Qianlong era (1789 AD), a remnant stone tablet inscribed by Wu Yanshuang was discovered beneath the pagoda, suggesting the existence of seven wooden eaves at that time.

In the 13th year of the Republic of China (1924), the pagoda tilted, leading to a major reconstruction that replicated the original design with eight sides and seven levels, using brick for a solid structure.

The most recent renovation took place in the 22nd year of the Republic of China (1933), restoring the pagoda to its ancient glory. Baochu Pagoda stands as a testament to Hangzhou‘s rich history, cultural heritage, and the enduring legacy of Buddhist influence in the region.

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