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Introduction to the Four Pagodas built in early Qing Dynasty
source: Shenyang Portal Website  2016-04-21 11:03

Outside Shenyang's city proper, there are four pagodas and, alongside them, four temples: South Pagoda/Guangci Temple, North Pagoda/Falun Temple, East Pagoda/Yongguang Temple, West Pagoda/Yanshou Temple. The four pagodas were build in 1643. About 2.5 kilometers outside the ancient city’s outer walls in four directions, the pagodas/temples and the official buildings inside the city (then called Shengjing) added grandeur and beauty to each other.

Although they had different names and feature different Buddha statues, the four pagodas/temples had identical dimensions and design, each pagoda consisting of a foundation support, a tower body and a tower spire and standing over 26 meters high. Each temple had a huge horizontal board hanging on the wall of the main hall inscribed by Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty. The four characters Emperor Qianlong chose for Yongguang Temple were(Ci Yu Qun Ling), for Yanshou Temple,(Jin Su Xiang Guang), for Guangci Temple,(Xin Hong Bi An) and for Falun Temple,(Jin Jing Zhou Yuan).

The East, the South and the West pagodas were restored in 1980s. When the dilapidated West Pagoda was pulled down in 1968, an underground palace was discovered and lots of valuable cultural relics unearthed. Of the four pagodas/temples, only the North has been well preserved. As for the East and the South, only the pagodas are left. The West Pagoda/Yanshou Temple was rebuilt in 1998.

Since the year of 1985, Shenyang Cultural Relics Administration Office has been working to build a collection of ancient stone tablets at the North Pagoda /Falun Temple. Among the 100 plus stone tablets that have been collected, the oldest one dates back to Chenghua Period of Ming Dynasty and the most recent one to Manchukuo period. The tablets, after carefully repaired, are mostly erected in the Temple. The West Pagoda is the most famous of the four because of the strong exotic atmosphere and the busy business streets of the area that is inhabited by people of Chaoxian nationality (ethnic Korean community).

Editor: zfw05