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Xi'an attractions: Small Wild Goose Pagoda
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Updated: 2011-03-04

Xi'an attractions: Small Wild Goose Pagoda

The Small Wild Goose Pagoda Scenic Area is located in the southern suburb of Xi'an, about 2 kilometers to the south of the City Wall. Covering an area of 16.3 hectares (40.4 acres), it mainly consists of the Xi'an Museum, the ancient Jianfu Temple built in the year 684 AD during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) and the famous Small Wild Goose Pagoda. The scenic area has become a wonderful leisure site for the appreciation of cultural relics, sightseeing and entertainment.

The Xi'an Museum in the west displays more than 2,000 precious historical relics. In the central axis, there are the White-Clothing Pavilion, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, the Sutra Depository, the Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian) and the Maitreya Pavilion in the Jianfu Temple. Verdant trees, grass and beautiful flowers can be found throughout the time-honored building complex. Moreover, beside the museum sits a big circular square and an artificial lake with two stone arch bridges featuring delicate designs.

The scenic area incorporates an intelligent guide system which offers a audio guide device to visitors. When visitors come to a scenic spot, the device will automatically give a detailed explanation. Besides the Chinese version, the museum will introduce a version designed for children and versions in other languages. Tourists need to deposit CNY 100 for such a device, which will be refunded to them when returning it at either the west gate or the north gate.

The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built in the year 707 AD during the Tang Dynasty. As it is newer and smaller than the Big Wild Goose Pagoda the name was given to distinguish the two. Unlike the grand Big Wild Goose Pagoda, it is dainty and exquisite in its appearance. It is an important cultural relic and one of the remaining symbols of ancient Chang'an (the name of Xi'an in the Tang Dynasty).

This multi-eave brick pagoda is thirteen stories tall, reaching 43.38 meters (142 feet). It is square on plane and rises skyward in an elegant spindle shape. Above the ground floor, the height of each storey diminishes, rendering a graceful curve to the contour. Multi-eaves are made by overlapping bricks which curve inward, a characteristic of the Tang Dynasty construction. The ground floor has arched doors facing north and south; the other floors have arched windows instead. The fine drawings on the doors reflect the artistic style prevailing in the Tang Dynasty. Inside, a narrow wooden stairway winds its way to the top of the pagoda.

Xi'an attractions: Small Wild Goose Pagoda

The construction of the pagoda is a wonder. Because Xi'an is located in an area where earthquakes sometimes occur, the pagoda base is made from packed earth in the shape of a hemisphere. In case of an earthquake, the pressure can be evenly divided, thus the pagoda has remained standing after over seventy earthquakes. After so many earthquakes, only the pinnacle and the two upper floors (the original pagoda had fifteen stories) have been damaged. Remarkably, cracks in the pagoda which occurred during earthquakes have been closed by quakes that came later.

A giant iron bell 3.5 meters (11.4 feet) in height and about 10 tons in weight resides in the Jianfu Temple. It makes a magnificent clear sound that can be heard more than three miles away. The elegant pagoda along with the bell is known as 'The Morning Bell Chimes of the Pagoda' and is considered one of the eight major cultural sites in the province.

The ancient Small Wild Goose Pagoda and the newly-built museum echo each other; and the sonorous bell chimes response to the melodious Chang'an ancient music played here. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda Scenic Area, with its brand-new appearance, welcomes tourists from both home and abroad.

New Year's Temple Fair Date: usually from lunar December 28 - lunar January 15 (three days before the Chinese New Year - 15 days after) Hours: 09:00-21:00 Activities: various exhibitions, folk performances and lantern displays

Admission Fee:

CNY 50 (allow to ascend the pagoda )

CNY 20 ( not allow to ascend the pagoda)

CNY 10 without ascending the pagoda (lunar December 28-30, three days before the Chinese New Year)

Hours: about 08:00-17:00 During the Temple Fair, the pagoda is closed at 17:00. The last hours for the scenic sport is 22:00, and last entry at 21:00.

Bus Route: Take Bus 18, 21, 29, 32, 40, 46, 203, 204, 224, 407, 410, 508, 521, 610, 700, 707, tourism bus no.7, tourism bus no.8 or Wulong Special Line and get off at Xiao Yan Ta (Small Wild Goose Pagoda) station.

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