Skip to content

Internal Structure of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a landmark and a famous monument of Xi’an, the symbol of the ancient city of Xi’an. It was built in 652 AD,  with more than 1300 years of history. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda, located in the Da Ci’en Temple in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China, is a relatively well-preserved pagoda and one of the few ancient pagodas available for climbing. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a brick and wooden structure, consisting of a pagoda base, a pagoda body, and a pagoda brake.

The 60-meter-high Big Wild Goose Pagoda is made of green bricks and earthen cement as the load-bearing structure to support the pagoda, which is 7-story high and square.

Internal Architecture

The interior of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is composed of dozens of wooden pillars and corresponding beams forming a barrel-like structure. The number of wooden pillars decreases as the tower grows taller.

External Structure

The exterior of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is made of two layers of bricks, inside and outside, averaging 6m thick, with the outer brick structure being added later during restoration. In order to make the pagoda strong and stable, the builders combined the structural elements of traditional Chinese wooden architecture with the brick building to create a unique imitation wooden brick structure. The brick arch was replaced by a wooden arch, with brick pillars like wooden pillars below the arch. This contributes to the stability of the brick structure and also plays a decorative role. It looks simple and unpretentious far away but looks exquisite and different inside.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Inside Space

Due to the heavy brick tower, the internal space of the tower is relatively small, with only the central part of the cylinder space and the doorway reaching out to the four sides. In order to be able to shuttle up and down in this small space and walk freely, a right-angle wooden ladder was installed inside the tower. By circling up the wooden ladder, you can reach each floor of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

If the brick structure is compared to the skeleton of the pagoda, the internal wooden structure is the bloodline of the pagoda. It gives the pagoda a vibrant power under its solemn appearance and is the symbol and incarnation of Buddha. Layers of bricks are built upwards, culminating in a pyramid-shaped spire, which serves as the roof of the Pagoda. At the top of the pagoda, there is a gourd-shaped pagoda brake, pointing straight up to the sky, which is holy.

Internal Structure of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda