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Kaiyuan Temple

The East and West pagodas are also known as the Zhenguo Pogoda and the Renshou Pagoda. First built with wood during the Five Dynasties at the end of the Tang Dynasty, the pagodas were later rebuilt with bricks and finally rebuilt with stone in the Southern Song Dynasty. The two pagodas have been standing erect there for nearly 800 years despite earthquake, typhoon and storm. Both pagodas were built in the style of tower, the West Pagoda being 44.6 meters in height and the East Pagoda 48.4 meters. They are octagonal in shape, five tiers high with five layers of eaves. The 39 granite carvings in relief at halfway up the East Pagoda depict the stories in the Buddhist scriptures and Indian folklores, done in the traditional way of painting and carving China mixed with the art of a foreign country. According to records, when the East Pagoda was built up the fourth tier, abbot Faquan passed away. It happened that an eminent monk Tianxi of India arrived at Quanzhou at that time ot preach scriptures. The last part of the construction project was then accomplished under his guidance. This unusual episode has made the East Pagoda a historical evidence of the friendly cooperation between China and foreign countries.



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