Added by Admin on Dec 27, 2011|Updated on Apr 17, 2012
North Pagoda Garden, or Bao’en Temple, is the oldest temple in Suzhou with a history of more than 1,700 years. It is also the largest Buddhist complex in Suzhou.
The Temple, also called Beisi Temple, was first constructed during the Chiwu period (238-251) of Eastern Wu in the Three Kingdoms era (220-280). According to legend, the mother of Sun Quan, ruler of Eastern Wu, spared her residential land to build the temple. Named Tongxuan Temple in ancient times, it was called Kaiyuan Temple during the early Tang Dynasty (618-907) and was renamed Bao’en Temple during the Xiande period (954-960) of Later Zhou Dynasty in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period.
Situated on Renmin Road in the northern Suzhou City, Beisi Pagoda is a typical brick and wood loft-style Buddhist pagoda and is a landmark of Suzhou. The pagoda was originally built in the Liang Dynasty (502-556) during the Southern Dynasties period and was rebuilt in 1153 during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). It underwent many renovations in later dynasties.
The nine-storey pagoda with a height of 76 meters is the tallest pagoda in the region south of the Yangtze River. To the east of the pagoda is Guanyin Hall, reconstructed in 1612, which is one of the best preserved architectural structures from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in Suzhou.
To the south of the hall, the largest lacquer carving in China, which is 32 meters long and 2 meters high, can be found in a long corridor.
In the pavilion behind the pagoda, the Stele of Zhang Shicheng stands proud ?– a rare stone carving from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
Postal code: 215002
Transportation: Tour line 2, 4; Buses 101, 102, 1, 308, 309, 5, 933